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The Rauner Reelection Record: Illinois Records Worst Two Years in Job Growth This Decade

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Job Growth Rate Has Been Cut in One-Third Since 2014

Another year is in the books, and Governor Bruce Rauner is still failing to create jobs. The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced today that Illinois only grew 29,600 jobs in the past year, which makes 2017 the second worst year for job creation in this decade. The worst year was 2016, also under Governor Rauner. Illinois’ growth rate has markedly dropped under Rauner’s tenure:

  • 2014: 1.49% (87,200 jobs created)
  • 2015: 1.38% (81,600 jobs created)
  • 2016: 0.31% (18,900 jobs created)
  • 2017: 0.49% (29,600 jobs created)

In 2014, Rauner relentlessly attacked his opponent on job creation and the state’s unemployment rate. He promised as “a business builder” he’d “grow our economy.” In 2014, Illinois had a growth rate of nearly 1.5%. That growth rate has been cut in one-third under Bruce Rauner. And the state’s unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation.

“Bruce Rauner has not only failed to grow jobs, he’s made the economy worse,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Under Rauner, the state’s higher education system saw enrollment drop by 70,000 students, debt increased, and people and jobs are still leaving the state. Rauner’s backward policies and two-year budget crisis have set Illinois back.”



Before Rauner, Illinois’ GDP Grew Faster Than All Bordering States, By 2016 It Grew The Slowest, Tied With Iowa. According to the Wall Street Journal, “In 2014, the state’s gross domestic product was growing faster than any other bordering state. In 2016, Illinois grew slower than all bordering states except for Iowa, with which it was tied.” [Wall Street Journal, 6/27/17]

Rich Miller: Rauner “Inherited An Economy” That Was Growing Jobs, “Only To Slow To A Crawl In The Past 19 Months.” According to Rich Miller’s column in Crain’s Chicago Business, “Rauner inherited an economy that, according to the same Illinois Department of Employment Security data he uses, added 61,500 jobs in 2013 and 84,600 in 2014, before Rauner was inaugurated, only to slow to a crawl in the past 19 months, despite a tax cut that took effect at the beginning of 2015. So far this year, the ‘Trade, Transportation and Utilities’ sector has lost 9,300 jobs.” [News-Gazette, Rich Miller, 8/25/17]