economy

A "race to the bottom" in state workers' compensation laws has the Labor Department calling for "exploration" of federal oversight and federal minimum benefits.

"Working people are at great risk of falling into poverty," the agency says in a new report on changes in state workers' comp laws. Those changes have resulted in "the failure of state workers' compensation systems to provide [injured workers] with adequate benefits."

Much of the anger and anxiety in the 2016 election is fueled by the sense that economic opportunity is slipping away for many Americans. This week, as part of NPR's collaborative project with member stations, A Nation Engaged, we're asking the question: What can be done to create economic opportunity for more Americans?

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump offered a bold prediction Thursday that his economic plan will deliver up to 25 million new jobs over the next decade. He described the blueprint as "the most pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-family plan put forth perhaps in the history of our country."

Even at this time of economic anxiety, America's system of organized labor is so convoluted, it’s no wonder unions are so unpopular.

Du Quoin State Fair Provides Economic Boost to the Region

Aug 31, 2016

Each year as summer winds downs, the city of Du Quoin becomes the most popular location in southern Illinois.

The annual Du Quoin State Fair brings thousands of people to the small town to enjoy the food, rides and entertainment.

Despite the vast differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there were some striking similarities between the economic speeches they delivered this week. They both spoke in Michigan, where they both talked a lot about manufacturing, with both of them insisting that they would obtain fairer trade deals.

General Electric Lighting has announced plans to close its lamp plant in the central Illinois city of Mattoon next year, unless its workers come up with an acceptable alternative for the facility.

The economic impact of the potential closure of the Clinton Nuclear plant begins now, not in a year when the plant actually shuts down. Plant Spokesman Brett Nauman says the announcement also means the end of infrastructure improvements and outside work, which involves a significant workforce in the community.

Amazon.com says it will open two facilities in Edwardsville that will have 1,000 full-time jobs.

The southern Illinois fulfillment centers will be 700,000-square-feet each. Employees will pick out, pack and ship items for customers. The Seattle-based company made the announcement Thursday.

Cement manufacturer Lafarge has announced they are no longer expanding operations at their plant in Massac County, Illinois.

The plan had been to add a third kiln at the Joppa Cement Plant which would have created around 50 new jobs.

International trade disputes used to be relatively simple.

One country would build up an industry to create jobs, and then dump excess products in another country at below-cost prices. Competitors facing unrealistically cheap imports would file "anti-dumping" complaints to seek government-backed protections.

St. Louis all but declared victory after the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s director gave the city the nod earlier this month for a new $1.75 billion facility.

Yet officials across the river aren’t giving up on a 182-acre site in St. Clair County.

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Illinois Information Service

A change in state policy aims to help more offenders get a job when they get out of prison.

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Facebook

Miners from all over the region rallied in Harrisburg Thursday night, hoping to raise awareness of the effects recent energy proposals have had on their industry.

people
Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays.

Murphysboro Landmark To Make Way for New Development

Feb 22, 2016
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

The site of the Apple Tree Inn, at the Intersection of Illinois Routes 13 and 127 in Murphysboro, has had a variety of hotels and motels since the 1960s.  Lately, however,  the well-known landmark  has fallen into disrepair and is being demolished to make way for a mixed business site including a restaurant, gas station hotel and other businesses.

Joe Koppeis, a Columbia Illinois-based developer says the new construction should begin in one to two months.

Small business owners in southern Illinois say they're shocked to learn one of their resources may soon have to close its doors.

Governor Bruce Rauner says action he has taken without the General Assembly will help the state attract businesses and jobs. 

IDOT Accepting Input for the Shawnee Parkway

Jan 27, 2016
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

The Illinois Department of Transportation is conducting a study and is encouraging public input on the proposed Shawnee Parkway, which would run from Paducah Kentucky to Cape Girardeau Missouri.  Through March 15th, 2016, the public is able to go online and comment on the projects.  The website is:

http://www.shawneeparkway.org/

Investments from the Delta Regional Authority will directly benefit four southern Illinois communities.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget office released three-year budget projections today. According to the estimate, if Illinois remains on its current fiscal path, the sate’s backlog of unpaid bills would swell to nearly $25 billion by Fiscal Year 2019.

Consumers may like the ability to shop online and avoid paying state and local sales taxes, and many online retailers may like the competitive advantage the arrangement provides them over “bricks and mortar” businesses across the country, but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. says the situation has a significant price.

“It’s really not fair to say to that store down the block that’s paying rent and paying property taxes and collecting sales tax (that) we’re going to put them at a disadvantage to their Internet counterparts.”

While many people aren't thinking about holiday shopping yet, business leaders are - and they want you to think local this year.

Despite the U.S. being reliant on China for exports, many Americans have a hard time understanding what is taking place with the world's largest economy. 

We figured it was a good time to bring in Roy Wehrle, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Illinois Springfield. 

A Federal Grant totalling $608,466 has been awarded to the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market to help older workers ease back into the workforce.  WSIU's Kevin Boucher recently spoke to the Grants Coordinator, Tracy Norris about how this money will impact southern Illinois.

Despite another bloody day on the Chinese markets, stocks around the world stabilized on Tuesday.

The Shanghai Composite continued its slide, ending the day 7.6 percent lower and below 3,000 for the first time since December. The plunge is the biggest since 1996. The European markets, however, seemed to shrug off the Chinese rout.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller reports the morning's news and weather for July 1, 2015.

An organization that strives to create jobs and improve the lives of people in eight states says the southern Illinois economy is poised for good things in the future.

Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chair Chris Masingill says the region is working hard to develop entrepreneurs and small businesses to boost local communities. He says this is one of the keys in creating new jobs.

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Herrin's former Maytag plant is under new ownership.

Private equity investor Gov. Bruce Rauner often says his goal is to make Illinois more competitive.

At a recent speech to business owners, he sang Illinois' praises. He says the state has the hardest working people, the best location and the most fertile farms.

The president of Wiley Office Furniture, Zach Hoffman, agrees with Rauner.

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