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Illinois Economic Policy Institute
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:25pm
Thu Jan 7, 2016

Illinois Environmental, Labor Groups Highlight Economic Benefits Of Clean Water Projects

Every $1 billion invested in Chicago-area clean water infrastructure creates or saves an average of 11,200 total jobs and generates an 8 percent economic return over a year.

That's according to a new report, backed by the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) and the Sierra Club, that explores the economic and environmental benefits of local clean water projects, which the groups say are a "win-win-win for Illinois" because they help workers, the economy and the environment.

The report, prepared by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) and the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was formally recognized at Thursday's board meeting of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD).

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:59pm
Wed Jun 24, 2015

Cash-Strapped Illinois Getting Shortchanged In Federal Revenues, Report Shows

A new study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute makes the case for closing the "payer state" gap at the federal level. Progress Illinois takes a look at the new research.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:24pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Study: Illinois Union Membership Down 97,000 Workers Over Past Decade

Organized labor's power and effectiveness is still significant in Illinois despite unions having 97,000 fewer members in the state than a decade ago, local economic and labor experts argue in a new report.

"The labor movement's presence is still keenly felt in Illinois," said Frank Manzo with the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, which jointly released the "State of the Unions 2015" report with researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. 

"Unions continue to increase incomes across the state and advance a strong, middle-class economy," he added.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:23pm
Thu Apr 23, 2015

'Right-To-Work' Laws Could Pull Down Worker Wages By 3.1 Percent

Statewide "right-to-work" policies drive down worker wages for both union and nonunion members by 3.1 percent, finds a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C. think tank.

That means full-time, year-round workers living in right-to-work states earn, on average, $1,558 less annually than similar workers in states without such regulations, according to the report.

EPI researchers used demographic, cost-of-living and labor market controls in calculating their findings.

"It's abundantly clear that right-to-work laws are negatively correlated with workers' wages," report co-author and EPI senior economist Elise Gould said in a statement. "Our model uses widely-agreed upon variables, and holds up under a series of tests to ensure that the model is sound and not being skewed by the inclusion or exclusion or particular variables or estimate technique."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:05pm
Mon Apr 6, 2015

Report: Rauner's Proposed Right-To-Work Zones Would Weaken Illinois Economy

A new study by two local labor and economic experts examines the potential economic impact of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed right-to-work zones, if they were adopted in half of the state's counties. According to the report, local right-to-work regulations would likely weaken the Illinois economy, as they would "encourage free-riding, lower worker earnings, and reduce state and local tax revenues." 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:15pm
Mon Sep 22, 2014

Worker Advocates Fearful Of Rauner's 'Anti-Labor' Agenda

Critics of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's stance on labor issues say his proposed policies would spell bad news for Illinois workers, retirees and unions.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:04pm
Thu Sep 11, 2014

Report: Right-To-Work Laws Strain Public Budgets & Would 'Weaken' Illinois' Economy

Workers in collective-bargaining states "are subsidizing the low-wage model of employment" in states with so-called right-to-work laws that limit union power.

That's one of the key takeaways from a new report by researchers at the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's School of Labor and Employment Relations.

“Our study found that right-to-work laws weaken state economies and strain public budgets,” said the report's co-author Bob Bruno, a labor professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Right-to-work laws not only sap government revenue in the form of reduced tax receipts, but they also increase government spending in outlays for food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit.”