Lost Youth Employment in Illinois - by Stephen Lendman
What affects Illinois plagues the nation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting in January that:
"The unemployment rate for young Americans has exploded to 52.2% - a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept - meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time."
"The number represents the flip-side to the Labor Dept's report that the employment rate of 16-to-24 year olds has eroded to 46.6 percent - the lowest ratio of working young Americans in that age group, including all but those in the military, since WWII."
The Illinois Policy Institute says the state is "in a fiscal meltdown that continues to spiral out of control," exacerbated by the economic crisis, falling tax revenues, and mismanagement in a state plagued by corruption.
As a result, it ranks in the bottom fifth of states by many key measures, including its economic outlook; Gross State Product growth; debt burden; cumulative per capita income growth; cumulative non-farm employment growth; net out-migration; and property, gasoline, and sales tax burdens.
Unsurprisingly, the state's wealth has been declining. At the same time, it's budget crisis has increased because of an expected $13 billion FY shortfall equal to about half the state's operating budget - the largest (on a per capita basis) of any state in America, including California.
To address it, huge cuts are proposed, including over $1.3 billion from education from primary through university levels. An estimated 17,000 teachers will be laid off, exacerbating an already dire situation, impacting students by school closures, larger class sizes, eliminated programs, and sharp tuition and fee increases at state colleges and universities, the University of Illinois considering a 20% hike besides large cuts in its operating budget.