Cook County lost more than a quarter of its manufacturing jobs -- or about 89,100 positions -- between 2000 and 2010, according to a Scripp Howard Service analysis of U.S. Census figures. Cook County's grim numbers are not much worse than what went on across the country, or throughout the state. Illinois saw a 20 percent drop in manufacturing jobs in the last decade.
“It’s been a disaster. We’ve never had a downturn of this scale,” Bob Baugh, executive director of the AFL-CIO’s Industrial Union Council, told Sun-Times reporter Thomas Hargove. “We have so decimated our internal capacities and infrastructures. Those lost skills translate to the innovations of the future.”