When an Illinois-based manufacturing worker is laid off, an economics expert estimates that it has a ripple effect that can be felt far beyond the worker’s kitchen table.
Brian Harger is a research associate with the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University. He used economic modeling to estimate that the 1,371 job losses at Fiat Chrysler will to cost the Rockford area more than 2,200 additional jobs and $214 million in employee pay in the coming years.
“The effects are pretty much the same if you’re talking about the auto industry in Chrysler or you’re talking about Caterpillar down in Peoria or about John Deere,” Harger said.
He based his estimations on the reports of job losses set to hit the Rockford area and surrounding counties.
Illinois Manufacturers’ Association president Mark Denzler said manufacturing job losses are felt more deeply because they’re higher-paid and many other economic sectors rely on their disposable income.
“About two-and-a-half to three jobs are created for every job in manufacturing,” he said.
IMA and other organizations are now in a race against the clock to place those workers with jobs that will keep them in the area as compared to being relocated through FCA or sniped by manufacturers just over the border in Wisconsin.
“The state of Wisconsin has put tens-of-millions of dollars into an effort to try to attract Illinoisans across the border into Wisconsin,” Denzler said.
In the ten years since the beginning of the recession in 2007, Illinois lost 97,000 manufacturing jobs, according to October Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.