Despite a new report painting Illinois as a job-loser – particularly in terms of the number of jobs it has lost to China in recent years – a state business leader chooses to look ahead.
“The manufacturing sector, beginning in the year 2000, had roughly 900,000 jobs. Today we're at roughly 600,000,” says Mark Denzler, vice president and chief operating officer of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. “Since the year 2010, Illinois has seen a small rebound in manufacturing jobs; we've gained about 17,000.”
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The Economic Policy Institute says Illinois ranks fourth in the nation in number of jobs lost to China – 132,500 – this century. Denzler says one reason is that Illinois and the states above it – California, Texas, and New York – are among the most populous states in the nation.
Calling the election of Bruce Rauner as governor a “sea change,” Denzler says the state can possibly better attack “innate costs that are built into manufacturing goods (such as) workers' comp and tax policy.”