A ranking of Illinois' best cities for jobs shows that historical manufacturing cities are still struggling to create work.
Wallet Hub's ranks 162 Illinois cities on their overall job friendliness. They consider factors like number of job opportunities, affordability and employment growth. They found that suburban cities like Libertyville and Grayslake are not only good to find work but also have a reasonable cost of living. Manufacturing-heavy cities like Rockford, Kankakee, and East St. Louis all faired poorly due to lack of work.
Rockford University Career Development Director Maurice West II said factories are closing and new jobs will not settle in Rockford because of high taxes. "What they end up doing is moving over to suburbs like Loves Park or Manchesney Park because the taxes are lower." West adds thatmanufacturing businesses are also leaving Rockford for states like Indiana. "A lot of them are moving right next door."
Even though unemployment numbers are improving, it's mainly due to an exodus of workers. Illinois' workforce dropped by more than 33 thousand in July alone. The state has lost nearly a thousand manufacturing jobs this year, according to payroll site ADP.
Illinois College Director of Career Services Susie Drake said her students will see Illinois' political and economic climates and decide that they would rather live elsewhere.
"I was very disheartened last year about how many college seniors said, 'I'm leaving Illinois. I don't like the direction it's going and I'm going somewhere else.'"