The war of words between Illinois and Indiana economic development officials is heating up as well. The Indiana Economic Development Corporate is boasting that it has competed with Illinois for new business 43 times during the past year and beaten out Illinois 40 times. Gov. Pat Quinn's office offered this retort to those claims to a State House blogger, citing statistics that show Illinois has had better success as of late in job creation than Illinois:
Governor Quinn is focused on creating jobs and working hard to make Illinois an even more attractive place to do business not only in the Midwest, but globally. The Governor has an aggressive long-term strategy for bringing quality jobs to Illinois, which includes innovation, exports and foreign investment, business-friendly legislation, and addressing infrastructure needs. And we don’t need to exaggerate our success; the proof is in the numbers.
According to the U.S. Labor Department, from October 2010 to October 2011, Indiana lost 12,400 jobs, a 0.4 percent decline in employment. Illinois added 60,500 jobs in that same time period. Illinois added 30,000 jobs in October, more than any other state. Since January 2010, Illinois has added 108,100 jobs ranking Illinois first in the Midwest in job creation. Illinois is home to 10 companies in the Fortune 100, 19 in the top 250 and 31 in the top 500. Indiana, by contrast, has five in the top 500. While Illinois’ corporate tax rate is at 7 percent, Indiana’s corporate rate is 8.5 percent - 20 percent higher than Illinois).
However, our competition isn’t Indiana, it’s India. The Governor is focused on making sure Illinois remains competitive on a global scale. We’re in a National recession, this is a national issue that every state is facing. The reality is that Midwestern states need to work together more, not less, to market the region to global visitors and business. An approach that focuses on picking off a neighboring state’s business is short-sighted and is a losing strategy for our region.
“Right to work” is not a strategy to achieve economic progress and create jobs.