Published On: Wed, Aug 24th, 2011

Politicians Vie To Create Jobs

Job creation is top priority for the U.S. and politicians as a number of politicians are garnering media attention through the discussion on jobs. Granted, the discussion on jobs deserves an abundance of attention from all media outlets at this time.

The Chicago Tribune reported today that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced 1,200 public works jobs spread over four years for a major rail project on Chicago’s South Side.

As well, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels held a press conference to reveal that Blue Island-based Modern Drop Forge Co., a maker of aerospace, truck and recreational equipment parts, would leave Illinois for Indiana, bringing 240 jobs.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said EMC Corp., technology firm is moving its regional headquarters to Chicago, bringing 200 jobs.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 74 percent of voters list either the economy or unemployment as the most pressing issue facing the U.S.

Companies are moving operations from one state to another to cut costs and to gain from incentive packages from the state. For instance, Modern Drop Forge’s move after 97 years in Blue Island would mean lost jobs in Illinois and job gains in Indiana. Indiana has reportedly lured 13 companies from Illinois.

The Tribune reported the following statements by Emanuel, Quinn and Daniels:

“This will happen in any modern economy,” said Gov. Quinn. “Some companies may move from one place to the next.”

“Every day is about creating jobs,” said Emanuel.

“We’ll do a lot of public works to get people back to work,” said Quinn.

“Jobs are job one,” said Daniels.

Joshua Drucker, assistant professor for the Department of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said a national approach is needed but the road map isn’t as “politically visible” as the broad jobs announcement and ribbon cuttings favored by politicians.

Ideally, job creation comes from a mix of short and long-term strategies, but long-term strategies such as investing in education, start-ups and entrepreneurship doesn’t help politicians working in a short election cycle, Drucker said.

“We’re in a bad economy, and people want jobs now,” said Drucker. “They don’t want them in 10 years.

In a report, the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., found that if job creation proceeds at the same rate it did in the 2000s, employment would not get back to December 2007 levels until March 2014.



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