Illinois can expect a year of slowing job growth, according to economic and business magazine Kiplinger’s.
The magazine forecasted job growth of 0.5 percent for Illinois in 2020. That’s down from 1.1 percent in 2019.
“Dropping down to 0.5 percent isn’t necessarily where we want to be,” said Bryan Gay, chairman of the Illinois Economic Development Association.
Kiplinger’s published the new data for Illinois as part of a survey for all 50 states. Looking forward to 2020, Gay said economic forecasters may be taking a nuanced view of job growth.
“The fact that we are going into an election year, these groups tend to usually be really conservative, because you never know what’s going to happen,” he said.
Ongoing changes to trade policy continue to have an impact as well, he said.
Gay said the state will have to work hard to move past the challenges noted by Kiplinger’s, including flat employment numbers outside of Chicago and ongoing trade difficulties between the U.S. and China. Unsettled trade policy means slower and fewer exports through Chicago’s trading platforms.
Despite all that, Gay said he’s not too concerned for the state’s long-term future.
“We are still very attractive and yeah, I am very positive and strong on growth for the future,” Gay said.
The state remains the headquarters for several large manufacturers, such as Caterpillar, Boeing and Abbott Laboratories.
“We are still seeing signs of positive growth, throughout the state," he said. "Businesses still want to locate here, despite our problems.”