Illinois is gaining service-sector jobs, but the goods-producing sector continues to languish.
Even though payroll company ADP’s monthly regional jobs report shows Illinois gaining 8,200 jobs in July, the state continues to lose manufacturing jobs. The Prairie State lost 600 more jobs last month and has 900 net losses on the year. When employers are asked, Illinois' high property taxes and workers' compensation costs are often to blame.
Zach Mottl, of Atlas Tool Works near the Des Plaines River in suburban Lyons, said if he could do it over again, he would have left Illinois’ hostile manufacturing environment years ago.
Click here for summary
"If I had to do it over again, I would not start in Illinois," he said. "It makes absolutely no sense from a business owner's perspective."
Mottl blames lawmakers for not enacting pro-growth policies that would help the people they say they're looking out for.
"The policymakers that probably want to help these people have missed the boat by not putting business first," he said. "When you look at all of my peers in Illinois that are dealing with these really high structural costs, it's hard to be cost-competitive with businesses in other states."
Mottl said his workers' compensation costs are nearly three times higher than identical businesses in Indiana. He said his company saw modest growth last fiscal year, but he considers his business lucky.
According to ADP, Illinois also lost 200 mining and construction jobs last month. Nationally, manufacturing jobs were up by 4,000 in July.