1 Million Illinoisans Out of Work

May 7, 2020

Statement from Todd Maisch, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce on the Recent Report of 1 Million Illinoisans Out of Work

“The Illinois Chamber supports the administration’s efforts to develop a reopening roadmap for our economy. Unfortunately, today’s news that more than 1 million Illinoisans are out of work since March 1, reaffirms the inadequacy of its plan. We face unprecedented job losses and government fiscal implosion. Illinois cannot afford to outsource the future of our economy to a handful of epidemiologists without considering the financial future of families. Government leaders must be able to address the public health crisis and the economic crisis at the same time. Otherwise it is failing us.

“We know there has been outspoken support for a regional approach to the opening of the state’s economy. This is a well-intended response to the fact that COVID-19 crisis has impacted some communities much more than others. However, the Chamber believes the regional approach is misguided. Undisclosed epidemiological standards applied to arbitrary geographical boundaries should not keep people from earning a living. We believe that statewide reopening safety protocols for all places of business are necessary and equitable.

“All places of business that can reopen and rehire safely should be allowed to do so as soon as possible. The statewide protocols should apply as equally to an employer on the west side of Chicago as they should to an employer in DuPage or Effingham Counties. All businesses in Illinois that can reopen responsibly should be able to do so as soon as practical, because employers in every part of the state deserve the same opportunity to reopen and rehire.”