Stimulus anniversary: Illinois job growth lags

Posted Feb. 17, 2010 at 11:57 a.m.

Tribune staff report | On the one-year anniversary of the federal stimulus package, President Barack Obama defended his plan and accused Republicans of scoffing at the stimulus while enjoying its benefits.

“There are those, let’s face it, across the aisle who have tried to score political points by attacking what we did, even as many of them show up at ribbon-cutting ceremonies for projects in their districts,” Obama said, according to a Reuters report.

In Illinois, some jobs have been created. According to, the
official Web site tracking the stimulus spending, about 11,280 Illinois
jobs were saved or created from February 2009 to September 2009.
Illinois received about $7.75 billion in funds from the stimulus package
during the past year.

The stimulus package’s original plan for Illinois stated that 157,000 jobs would be created or saved during the next two years, and an additional $100 per month in unemployment insurance benefits would be doled out to jobless residents.

The five zip codes in Illinois have given the most jobs to recipients are the following:

Zip Code Area Number of jobs
62777 Springfield 3,163.5
62701 Springfield 1,650.1
62704 Springfield 517.4
60606 Chicago — Loop 364.9
62794 Springfield 308.2

The five zip codes in Illinois that are currently receiving the most money are the following:

Zip Code Area Amount
60603 Chicago — Loop $992,183,802
62701 Springfield $336,827,944
60661 Chicago — Near West Side $296,854,006
62794 Springfield $266,524,739
60604 Chicago — Loop $227,126,771

Chicago got off to a slow start in presenting a “to-do” list for the package last January, and counting the number of jobs actually created continues to be tricky. As the Tribune reported in November, some Illinois companies and organizations that received stimulus funds and used them for cost-of-living adjustments saw those adjustments counted as jobs, even though no actual jobs were created.

A report released last Thursday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers stated that the unemployment rate is expected to stand at 10 percent% during 2010, but Council Chairwoman Christina Romer said she expects an average of 95,000 jobs a month to be created this year.

Many critics remain wary of the stimulus package. “Illinoisans have questions,” said Republican chairman Pat Brady. “They want to know what the Democrats plan to do to bring jobs to Illinois. As Republicans we do this by providing tax relief—not piling it on, reducing our deficit to restore confidence and limiting burdensome regulation.”

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