WBEZ | Job Creation http://www.wbez.org/tags/job-creation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Navistar layoffs add to doubts about incentives http://www.wbez.org/content/navistar-layoffs-add-doubts-about-incentives <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-23/AP05060901633.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="The workers helped design International brand trucks. (AP/File)" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-23/Navistar_truck_SCALED.jpg" style="margin: 9px 18px 5px 1px; float: left; width: 308px; height: 207px;" title="The workers helped design International brand trucks. (AP/File)">Sears Holdings Corp. and Chicago’s financial exchanges have quit threatening to pull up stakes now that Illinois has enacted tax breaks for them. But it remains unclear whether state incentives to big companies are wise uses of economic-development resources. A personnel shift by Lisle-based Navistar International Corp. will add fresh doubt.</p><p>WBEZ has learned that some new jobs Navistar promised under an Illinois incentive agreement are coming to the state at the expense of unionized workers in Indiana.</p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced the Navistar incentives last year after the company threatened to pack up its headquarters in west suburban Warrenville and leave the state. The deal committed Illinois to a $64.7 million bundle of tax credits and job-training subsidies for the company. It committed Navistar to moving the headquarters to Lisle, a couple miles east, and to adding 400 full-time Illinois employees.</p><p>Navistar’s first report to the state about the jobs isn’t due until next year, so it’s hard to tell how many positions the company has created thus far. Employees confirm that dozens of new engineers and designers are working at the Lisle facility.</p><p>Navistar is creating those jobs as it phases out its Truck Development and Technology Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, just three hours southeast of Chicago. The latest Fort Wayne cuts came December 2, when the company laid off 130 employees, mostly engineers and designers who are United Auto Workers members. Before the layoff, some of the Fort Wayne workers had to help train their Lisle replacements.</p><p>Navistar has “rewritten the job descriptions so the people that used to do the work here — the union folks — don’t qualify anymore on paper,” said Craig Randolph, a design engineer the company laid off after 15 years at the Fort Wayne center. “So they’re eliminating the high-seniority, older employees like myself and replacing them with nonunion college kids — guys fresh out of school. And the taxpayers in Illinois are subsidizing the whole thing.”</p><p>Asked for a response, Navistar spokeswoman Karen Denning called it unusual for engineers to have union representation in the first place, a claim disputed by auto industry experts. Denning also sent a statement that said the company’s decision to shift the Fort Wayne jobs to Lisle was “based solely on our desire to compete in the global economy.” The statement added that Navistar has allowed many Fort Wayne employees to relocate to the Chicago area and stay with the company.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity sent a statement that doesn’t directly address whether the Navistar incentives have anything to do with the Fort Wayne layoffs. The statement says the state’s assistance to companies like Navistar over the last decade has “created and retained tens of thousands of jobs,” including unionized positions.</p><p>There’s not much proof to back up such claims. Scholars who study the effects of corporate incentives point out that companies decide where to operate based on proximity to suppliers, markets, transportation and so on. Another factor is whether workers are bargaining collectively. Just this summer, Navistar announced it was closing a unionized plant in Chatham, Ontario. The company has moved that work to nonunion facilities in Texas and Mexico.</p><p>“I don’t think that the [Illinois] incentives are causing Navistar to shift around its workforce,” said Rachel Weber, an associate professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “But they do send a message that the public sector and taxpayers are validating these kinds of activities. And, if you asked a lot of taxpayers in the state of Illinois whether they’d want to support these kinds of activities, I don’t think they’d be so happy about it.”</p><p>Weber pointed out that the economies of Illinois and Indiana intertwine closely and said it would help both states to quit poaching jobs from each other. Eliminating state incentives for corporations, she added, would free up resources for everything from workforce readiness to small-business incubation.</p><p>The union, for its part, didn’t return calls about the Fort Wayne layoffs and isn’t creating a public fuss about them. That raises questions about the role of UAW Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Williams, who serves on Navistar’s board of directors under a decades-old agreement that reserved the seat for the union. Because Williams draws salaries from both the UAW and Navistar, and because he once directed a UAW region that includes Illinois but not Indiana, some of the union’s Fort Wayne members accuse him of hanging them out to dry.</p></p> Fri, 23 Dec 2011 16:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/navistar-layoffs-add-doubts-about-incentives The nation's unemployment rate dips slightly in July http://www.wbez.org/story/nations-unemployment-rate-dips-slightly-july-90164 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-05/Job applicants_Getty_Justin Sullivan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hiring picked up slightly in July and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent, an optimistic sign after the worst day on Wall Street in nearly three years.</p><p>The Labor Department says employers added 117,000 jobs last month. That's an improvement from the past two months.</p><p>"That's not great, but it's pretty good," said Chris Low, chief economist for FTN Financial on the <em>Marketplace Morning Report</em> on WBEZ.</p><p>However, the unemployment rate fell partly because some unemployed workers stopped looking for work. That means they are no longer counted as unemployed.</p><p>Even so, the mild gain may ease investors' concerns after the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted more than 500 points on Thursday over concerns that the U.S. may be entering another recession.</p><p>The economy needs twice as many net jobs per month to rapidly reduce unemployment, and Low points out that it could take a year or more of such job growth to truly turn the labor picture around.&nbsp;</p><p>"We're just not doing enough in this economy to pull this unemployment rate down," Low said.</p><p>The rate has topped 9 percent in every month except two since the recession officially ended in June 2009.</p><p><br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Aug 2011 13:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/nations-unemployment-rate-dips-slightly-july-90164 Unemployment rate rises as job creation slows http://www.wbez.org/story/unemployment-rate-rises-job-creation-slows-87372 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-03/Job applicant_Getty_Justin Sullivan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The nation's unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in May, as hiring slowed to the lowest level in eight months, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.&nbsp;</p><p>The Labor Department reported that employers hired only 54,000 new workers in May, down sharply from the previous three months, when the economy added an average of 220,000 new jobs.</p><p>The new data offered startling evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing, hampered by high gas prices and natural disasters in Japan that have hurt U.S. manufacturers.&nbsp;</p><p>"Every time we've had a strong quarter, it's been followed by a week one," FTN Financial Chief Economist Chris Low told PRI's Marketplace Morning Report on WBEZ Friday.</p><p>In May, private companies hired only 83,000 new workers - the fewest in nearly a year.&nbsp; Local governments cut 28,000 jobs last month, the most since November. That marks the 22 straight month in which municipalities have shed jobs. &nbsp;</p><p>More people entered the work force last month, which pushed the unemployment rate up from 9.0 percent in April.</p><p>Despite the rise in unemployment and the drop in job creation, Low noted that while the May numbers are the worst in eight months, but the April numbers were the best in six years.&nbsp;</p><p>"It's important to view the two months together," he said.</p><p>Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported last week that unemployment rates fell in each of Illinois' 12 metro areas during the month of April.&nbsp; That marks the eight consecutive month in which unemployment rates have declined.&nbsp;</p><p>Earlier this month the department said statewide unemployment fell in April from 8.8 percent to 8.7 while the national rate rose .2 percent to 9 percent.<br> <br> &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 03 Jun 2011 13:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/unemployment-rate-rises-job-creation-slows-87372 GE Capital to add 1,000 jobs in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/ge-capital-add-1000-jobs-chicago-86913 <p><p>The financial arm of General Electric is announcing plans to bring 1,000 jobs to Chicago.</p><p>At a press conference with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday, officials from GE Capital said the expansion will nearly double the company's presence in the city. Five-hundred of the jobs will be new hires, while the remainder will come from across Illinois and other states, according to a company spokesman.</p><p>Emanuel said the plan was worked out after he met with General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, whom the mayor said he knows from his time in Congress and the White House. That relationship may have "tilted" GE's decision to expand in Chicago, Emanuel said. But he added it was ultimately an economic decision.</p><p>"Could be anywhere. A work force, a quality of life, a place you already have an operation, you're going to expand - those all get added into as you make a decision. And I'm proud that they've decided to double-down on Chicago," Emanuel said.</p><p>The company spokesman says GE is planning to add 500 of the new jobs during the next year. The company said the positions will be for commercial, technical and regulatory workers. GE Capital curently has more than 1,000 jobs in Chicago, and more than 4,000 in Illinois.</p><p>The company's announcement comes at a time when some Illinois businesses have considered leaving the state due to rising taxes.<br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 23 May 2011 17:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/ge-capital-add-1000-jobs-chicago-86913 Dear President Obama: Small business is the ticket! http://www.wbez.org/ssargent/2009/03/dear-president-obama-small-business-is-the-ticket/7263 <p>Writing in the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/04/AR2009030403070.html" target="_blank">Washington Post</a> on Wednesday, the CEO and founder of job networking site <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/" target="_blank">LinkedIn</a> outlined a 3-step plan for riding out the economic crisis. Reid Hoffman, who also penned a <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/02/AR2009030201947.html" target="_blank">WaPo op-ed Tuesday</a>, is a big believer in the power of small business and supports a bailout plan aimed at helping these start-ups. Current plans to sink money into infrastracture and scientific development, Hoffman writes, "is great for jobs in the short term but doesn't guarantee the vibrant economic ecosystem required for sustainability." He wants, instead, "incentives for business innovators." Microsoft, Burger King, Intel and FedEx are all cited as examples of small businesses that started during economic downturns and proceeded to enjoy immense success. Hoffman thinks the current administration should be "offering incentives for entrepeneurship and innovation." So what is that 3-step plan, exactly? First, Hoffman prefaces the list by saying: "I believe the real fix for the economy is massive entrepreneurship and innovation to create new jobs through new products and services." 1. Extend credit lines up to $50,000 to encourage small business loans 2. Abolish the cap on H-1B visas (these visas allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers temporarily in specialty occupations) and impose a 10 percent payroll tax for each visa. This way, Hoffman argues, H-1Bs will be used for skilled labor, not cheap labor--plus, it gives employers an incentive to hire local. 3. Match up to $100 million in stimulus funds for qualifying venture and angel investments (angel investors are individuals who provide capital for business start-ups)<a title="Startup company" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startup_company"></a> if they create jobs in the U.S.</p> Thu, 05 Mar 2009 11:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/ssargent/2009/03/dear-president-obama-small-business-is-the-ticket/7263 Your thoughts on the stimulus package? http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/02/4-million-jobs/179 <p>In his first prime time <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog_post/the_first_press_conference/">press conference</a>, President Barack Obama pushed the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan as a jobs creation plan.‚  "That is why the single most important part of this Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is the fact that it will save or create up to 4 million jobs. Because that is what America needs most right now. It is absolutely true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or economic growth. That is and must be the role of the private sector. But at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life. It is only government that can break the vicious cycle where lost jobs lead to people spending less money which leads to even more layoffs. And breaking that cycle is exactly what the plan that's moving through Congress is designed to do." <em>What do you think?‚  Do you support the stimulus bill?‚  How do you think it should be changed? Do you think it will help save and create new jobs?</em> <em>A‚ few interesting articles and editorials:</em> <em>New York Times: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/opinion/10tue1.html?_r=1&amp;ref=opinion">A Better Stimulus Bill </a></em> <em>Wall Street Journal: <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123423402552366409.html">There's No Stimulus Free Lunch</a></em> <em>Washington Post: <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/09/AR2009020902518_2.html?sid=ST2009020903785&amp;s_pos=">Again With the Depression? Great.</a>‚ </em> <em>Chicago Tribune: </em><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-daley10feb10,0,2360396.story">Daley packs his list of projects before trip to Washington to push for stimulus package</a> <em></em></p> Tue, 10 Feb 2009 09:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/02/4-million-jobs/179 Stimulus money headed this way? http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/01/stimulus-money-headed-this-way/42 <p>According to a <a href="http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/01/house_stimulus_overview.html">new study </a>from the Center for American Progress, Illinois stands to get $22.3‚ billion dollars from the <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/economy/">American Recovery and Reinvestment Act</a>.‚  Crains' has a <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=32765">good article </a>on distribution of‚ the federal stimulus money. At a press conference yesterday, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said he had high hopes the money would create thousands of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=31720">local jobs</a>.</p> Tue, 27 Jan 2009 21:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/01/stimulus-money-headed-this-way/42