In his February budget address, Governor Rauner discussed the need for reform of Illinois current workers’ comp program, saying that Illinois desperately needed jobs and that companies were being scared off from setting up shop in Illinois because of the current costs of our workers’ comp premiums. According to Rauner, the factor driving high premiums are lawsuits. In reality, Rauner is making a scapegoat out of the legal system when he should be examining the facts and properly putting the blame on insurance companies.
To help separate fact from Rauner’s fictional claims, we are sharing the following information, taken directly from a recent Illinois Trial Lawyers Association fact sheet entitled ‘Illinois is Good for Business.’
Illinois is Good for Business
Groups trying to assist corporations and other wrongdoers in avoiding accountability when they wrongly injure or kill people claim falsely that lawsuits and high workers’ compensation premiums are driving business out of Illinois. The reality is Illinois remains a strong state for business.
- Illinois is headquarters to 37 of the nation’s largest companies on the 2016 Fortune 500 List. Of those companies, 22 rose in the rankings in 2016.1
- Only three states have more Fortune 500 companies than Illinois. 2
- There are 124 major corporations with their global headquarters in Illinois.
- For three consecutive years (2013-2015) the Chicago area was named the country’s leading metro market for “new and expanded corporate facilities.”3
- For three consecutive years (2013-2015) Illinois ranked third in the nation as a top performing state for capital investment attraction.4
- Illinois has more workplaces per 1,000 residents than Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin.5
- Between 2010 and 2016 Illinois gained 391,000 jobs, essentially the same percentage growth in Wisconsin and well above that of Missouri for the same time period. Illinois job growth exceeded Michigan and Ohio.6
- Business costs in Illinois are lower than they are nationally and have been trending downward for the past few decades. Business costs are lower her than in states that have similarly large metropolitan areas, such as California and New York.7
- Businesses in Illinois tend to pay less in taxes. The state’s tax burden has been consistently below that of the Midwest and national averages since the 1980’s.8
- Utility costs in Illinois are about 15 percent below the national average and noticeably less than the regional average.9
Top 5 Illinois Businesses for 2015 10
|Company||Location||Fortune 500 Rank||2015 Profit|
|Walgreens Boots Alliance||Deerfield||19||$4.220 billion|
|State Farm||Bloomington||35||$6.229 billion|
|Archer Daniels Midland||Chicago||41||$1.849 billion|
1 Fortune Magazine. http://beta.fortune.com/fortune500
3 Site Selection Magazine, March 2016. http://siteselection.com/issues/2016/mar/top-metropolitans.cfm
4 Site Selection Magazine, March 2016. http://siteselection.com/issues/2016/mar/cover.cfm
5 Illinois Economic Policy Institute. “Stop Saying that Illinois is Bad for Business.” January 26, 2016.
6 “The truth about job growth in Illinois.” Crain’s Chicago Business. March 19, 2016
7 State of Illinois Economic Forecast, January 2017. http://cgfa.ilga.gov/Upload/2017MoodysEconomyILForecast.pdf
10 Fortune; http://beta.fortune.com/fortune500
*Illinois has a flat personal income tax rate of 3.75 percent. It is lower than the top tax rate of 40 other states – some which go as high as eight to thirteen percent.