By the numbers – some of them, anyway – Illinois’ economic growth is consistent.
The Flash Index, a weighted average of personal income, consumer spending, and corporate earnings compiled by University of Illinois economics professor Fred Giertz, fell from 106.8 in January to 106.6 in February. 100 is the break-even point between growth and contraction.
The unemployment rate, which has dropped over the past year or so, is yielding results in some quarters, Giertz says.
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“For example, several firms have talked about raising their wage for their employees well above the minimum wage,” Giertz says. “It's not because Walmart or Marshalls or T.J. Maxx have suddenly become kind to their workers. It’s because they have to (be competitive) in order to maintain their workforce.”