How Are You Doing This Tax Season?

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI.

How are you doing this tax season, fellow Illinois resident? The average worker earns $23 per hour in Illinois and the median total income is $32,000 for all workers, according to a new economic brief released today by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). The Economic Commentary, Illinois Income Report: How Are You Doing This Tax Season? (PDF), notes that economic outcomes for Illinois workers have only recently begun to recover from the recession that began over half a decade ago.

Among other conclusions, the brief finds:

  • The “upper class” of individual earners (the Top 15 percent) makes $84,000 a year or more while the lower class (the Bottom 25 percent) takes home just $19,000 per year;
  • Once workers turn 41 years old, the average income for their age cohort is above $60,000 for every year thereafter;
  • Education is highly correlated with improved economic outcomes, with associate’s degrees providing the initial entry into a middle-class income;
  • Middle-class occupations in Illinois are those that have typically had higher levels of unionization (e.g., construction, education, manufacturing production, etc.); and
  • The lowest-paying jobs are growing the fastest.

The Economic Commentary is intended to allow you as an Illinois resident to see how you stack up against your counterparts across the state.

So, how are you doing?

For more, the Full Report is available here as a PDF.

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