A new study shows where government workers live in Illinois. The question of the study, conducted by Rob Paral of the Immigration Policy Center, was how the number of government workers in certain districts is affecting the debate on pension reform. The study finds that the highest concentrations of public sector jobs are found in legislative districts with prisons and universities – not necessarily those represented by powerful state lawmakers.
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“I think there’s some misguided belief out there that government workers are all packed in Democratic districts,” Paral said. Statewide, 12.9 percent of the labor force works in the public sector. By Illinois Senate districts, the district represented by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has the lowest percentage of government workers at 7.4 percent. The district of Sen. Mike Frierichs (D-Champaign) has the highest percentage at 28.5 percent. Two of the 10 Senate districts with the highest number of government workers are represented by Republicans, Sens. Dave Leuchtefeld (R-Okawville) and Dale Righter (R-Mattoon).
On the House side, the highest percentage of government workers is found in the district of Rep. Naomi Jakkobson (D-Urbana), followed by Reps. Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) and Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro). Of the 27 House districts with the lowest percentage of government workers, 25 are represented by Democrats. “Government jobs are really spread across the state. They’re not just located in certain places,” Paral said. The workers counted in the study include full- and part-time workers in local, state, and federal government jobs.