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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:18pm
Thu Apr 16

Report: Illinois Black Unemployment Rate Expected To Fall In 2015, But Still At 'Crisis Level'

Research from the Economic Policy Institute shows Illinois is one of only two U.S. states expected to see "significant reductions" in African-American unemployment levels throughout 2015. Still, African-American jobless rates in Illinois and nationwide are still far higher than where they should be, EPI's report argues.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:31pm
Thu Mar 19

Report Calls Attention To Racial Divide Among Low-Income Illinois Families

Minority working families are about twice as likely to be low-income than white working families at both the national level and in Illinois.

That's one of the key findings of a new report by the Working Poor Families Project, a national initiative focused on strengthening state-level policies to help working families attain economic security.

Illinois is home to over 400,000 low-income working families, representing 30 percent of all working families in the state, according to the report. Low-income working families are defined as those with incomes below 200 percent of the official poverty level.

Forty-six percent of all minority working families in Illinois were low-income in 2013, compared with 20 percent of white, non-Hispanic working families.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:43pm
Wed Jan 28

Study: Top 1% Of Earners In Illinois Captured 97% Of Post-Recession Income Gains

The top 1 percent in Illinois took home nearly all of the state's income gains in the first few years of the U.S. economy's recovery from the Great Recession.

That's one of the findings of a new study on income inequality published by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. The report was co-authored by Estelle Sommeiller, a socioeconomist at the Institute for Research in Economic and Social Sciences in France, and Mark Price, an economist at the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Overall, the study showed that the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers in 39 states, including Illinois, captured at least half of all the post-recession income gains in their respective states between 2009 to 2012. Over this time period, 17 states saw their top 1 percent of earners gain 100 percent of the income growth, according to the researchers, who examined state-level tax data from the Internal Revenue Service.

Average incomes grew faster from 2009 to 2012 for those in the top 1 percent than the bottom 99 percent in every state but West Virginia, the report reads. And in 2012, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans earned almost 30 times the income of those in the bottom 99 percent.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:37pm
Tue Dec 9, 2014

Experts: Bright Spots In 'Solid' November Jobs Report, But Economy Far From Full Recovery

Despite the rosy numbers reported in last week's November jobs report, which showed U.S. employers added 321,000 positions last month and average hourly wages went up slightly, experts say the economic recovery still has a long way to go. Progress Illinois provides reaction from economists and labor experts on last month's job and employment figures.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:20pm
Mon Oct 27, 2014

Election Preview: A Look At The Expensive 55th District State Rep. Race

Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the state representative race in the 55th district.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:26pm
Wed Jun 18, 2014

Most Illinois Congressional Members Get Passing Grades On National Poverty Scorecard

Six Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation had a perfect voting record in 2013 on legislation important to people living in poverty, according to a new scorecard and report published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Meanwhile, no Republican Congressmen from Illinois earned a grade higher than a 'D' on the center's 2013 Poverty Scorecard, which looked at the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on poverty-related issues during the last calendar year. The scores were tabulated based on 18 votes taken in the House and Senate on legislation covering a variety of subject areas including budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, immigrants, cash assistance, domestic violence, education and the workforce, to name a few.

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