Nearly 10,000 families so far this year are dealing with the harsh realities of a family member in the manufacturing industry being laid off, and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association said state lawmakers are partly to blame.

If you can’t afford to send your kids to college because your manufacturing job got cut, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association said state lawmakers are partly to blame.

More than 9,260 jobs have been cut since January. In August, eight businesses reported more than 1,000 layoffs. Total manufacturing-job layoffs since January totaled more than 2,300.
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Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Vice President Mark Denzler said other states’ manufacturing industries are booming, while Illinois’ is shrinking, and that hurts Illinois workers.

Denzler said these aren’t faceless statistics. 

“Every worker has a family,” Denzler said. “They probably have kids, they have hopes, they have dreams, so if they lose their job, they may not be able to send their kids to college, or go on vacation, or eat out at a restaurant, or buy a new car.”

“The direct correlation is with the number of manufacturing jobs that decrease, we see a major erosion of the middle class in this state, and it’s a trend that has to stop. Policymakers have to get focused on this problem and start taking steps to correct it.”

Denzler said lawmakers need to get a handle on the state’s high property taxes and workers’
compensation costs.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association said retailers are the canary in the coal mine when it comes to consumer confidence, and the trend of monthly layoffs in Illinois’ retail sector isn’t a good sign.

Illinois Retail Merchants Association President Rob Karr said that while the economy may be growing in other areas of the country, Illinois’ retail industry continues to struggle. 

“There are some brighter spots around the nation, but Illinois, just generally, its business climate continues to struggle with perceptions and reality.”

Karr also said Illinois as a whole needs to return to some stability because business investments and mounting state debt are like oil and water -- they don’t mix.
(Copyright WBGZ /