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Legislators says Illinois’ business climate driving high unemployment rate

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(The Center Square) – Illinois is now home to the third-worst unemployment rate in the country with its 4.8% average during the month of April, sitting nearly a full point above the national average.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the state’s unemployment rate swelled to 4.8% during the month of April, nearly a full point above the national average and third worst in the county.

State Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, said it’s little wonder Illinois finds itself in economic straits given what he sees coming out of Springfield.

“I think that one of the things that we’ve done as lawmakers is we have overregulated,” Miller told The Center Square. “We put mandates on business and a lot of times just the cost of employing somebody to work for you is so astronomical because of the over regulations. I think one of the things that we have done is we’ve made the business climate in Illinois extremely hostile.”

Overall, the state added just 37,400 jobs in April, also making it home to the highest overall unemployment rate among all neighboring states. Over that time, Illinois saw its greatest growth rates in state and local government sectors while the professional and business sector experienced the largest net declines.

Since the pandemic, the state’s overall job recovery rate ranks No. 44 in the country, with only 2,500 more jobs than were available in January 2020. At the same time, U.S. Census Bureau data shows the state has lost nearly 33,000 residents, marking the 10th straight year of population decline.

“We’re bleeding jobs; we’re bleeding business; we’re bleeding population and we’re bleeding opportunity because of what we’re doing,” Miller added. “We’re spending billions upon billions of dollars on illegal aliens that have no business being here while the rest of our working families and young parents are struggling to buy health insurance, gas, food and their mortgage. Life has gotten harder for everyone in Illinois except the illegals that have no business being here unless they want to come in legally.”

Miller said he has little doubt about what needs to be the focus in Springfield if the state is to have any chance of changing direction anytime soon. He said legislators need to reverse course and lower taxes across the board.

“It has to get more competitive, at least with our border states because people are voting with their feet and they’re finding that they can do business and they can live cheaper in any part of the country rather than Illinois,” he said. “I think that that’s one of the most critical things with [Gov.] J.B. Pritzker and [President] Joe Biden’s open border policy and us being a sanctuary state.”

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