NEW Study: A protracted shutdown of planned road and bridge projects could shrink the Illinois economy by nearly $2 billion on net, eliminate 23,000 jobs, and cost taxpayers up to $270 million over the next year. Continue reading “IDOT Shutdown Could Cost 23,000 Jobs and Hundreds of Millions of Dollars”
Prevailing wage rates reflect local market conditions in McHenry County. Continue reading “Five Reasons Why Prevailing Wage Works in McHenry County”
The Summer 2017 Edition of ILEPI’s newsletter, Illinois Insights, has been released. Continue reading “Illinois Insights – Summer 2017 Edition”
With a renewed focus on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, Congress must also support policies that rebuild middle-class jobs in the United States. Continue reading “New Bill Would Cut the Wages of Middle-Class Construction Workers”
The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) supports the Illinois Tollway Board’s decision to advance the proposed Route 53/120 Extension project through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). ILEPI recently released a project analysis which found that demographic and economic trends convincingly … Continue reading The Illinois Tollway Board Votes to Move the Route 53/120 Extension Forward
A new study finds that labor unions continue to face both short- and long-term challenges in Illinois. Last year, unionization declined by about 35,000 members in the state. However, the personal benefit to unionization remains strong, as unions raise hourly wages by 8 percent on average in Illinois.
Continue reading “The State of Illinois’ Unions in 2017”
In Friday’s release on state employment and unemployment, there are both positives and negatives for Illinois. On the positive side, Illinois had the 4th-largest decline in the unemployment rate over the past year and now has a lower unemployment rate than states like Georgia, Texas, and California. On the negative side, Illinois had the 9th-worst job growth over the year.
“Shoring up the middle means making bad jobs better, keeping good jobs good, and supporting the growth of the economy as a whole.” Continue reading “University of Illinois Report Takes the Pulse of Illinois’ Shrinking Middle Class”
“Right-to-work” does NOT increase union membership.
Right-to-Work Laws Reduce Union Membership
The movement to implement “right-to-work” (RTW) legislation has accelerated over recent years. Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia recently become “right-to-work” states. Missouri and Kentucky followed in 2017. Today, 28 states have “right-to-work” laws.
One of the main policy changes contributing to the decline of unionization across the United States is the ratification of “right-to-work” legislation. From 2015 to 2016, union membership in RTW states declined by over 293,000 members. Union membership declined in 20 of the 26 states (77%) with RTW laws.
A Responsible Bidder Ordinance (RBO) is a policy that sets minimal requirements for all contractors bidding on publicly-funded projects in a given political jurisdiction. Typically, these requirements include proof of participation in an apprenticeship training program, proof of certificates of insurance, prequalification surveys, and compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. RBOs are a qualifications-based approach to construction contracting for public entities. The policies are a kind of “insurance policy” for taxpayers. The local ordinances establish clear, objective standards that contractors must meet in order to win bids and construct projects funded using taxpayer dollars.
The H-2B program grants visas to foreign workers to become employed at U.S. employers for temporary periods of time. The H-2B program is intended to address worker shortages in unskilled occupations. Migrant workers issued an H-2B visa can be employed for up to 9 months, but their visa may be extended for up to three years. Approximately 115,000 H-2B workers are currently in the United States.
The H-2B program often lowers wages for both foreign-born workers and U.S. citizens. Continue reading “The H-2B Guest Worker Program Unnecessarily Lowers Construction Worker Wages in Illinois”
The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) supports the Illinois Tollway Board’s decision to advance the Central Tri-State project, which will bring far-reaching benefits to the region, including economic development, job creation, and the increased ability to stay competitive.