Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability
Robert Pritchard, Co-Chair
Heather Steans, Co-Chair
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March 2018 Monthly Briefing
Eric Noggle, Senior Revenue Analyst

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released their “final” job and wage figures for CY 2017. This dataset includes a wide variety of job-related information, including Statewide employment totals by subsector, as well as each subsector’s average weekly earnings. A summary of these figures for Illinois is shown in the following table.

Illinois averaged 6.063 million jobs in CY 2017, which was a 0.7% increase over the CY 2016 average of 6.019 million jobs. This is the seventh consecutive year of positive growth in Statewide employment following three consecutive years of negative job growth suffered as a result of the Great Recession. But the 0.7% increase in CY 2017 was the lowest rate of change over this seven-year span of positive growth.

In regards to earnings, the data shows that average weekly earnings grew a modest 1.2% in CY 2017. This was the weakest growth rate for earnings in the past several years, and noticeably below the previous six fiscal years growth rate average of 2.2%.

Jim Muschinske, Revenue Manager

March receipts grew $384 million with gains posted by most of the larger revenue sources. As has been the case throughout FY 2018, comparably higher income tax rates are the primary cause of the monthly advance. March also benefited from a strong month for transfers as an escalating backlog in owed transfers from the Capital Projects Fund was partially addressed. Monthly receipting days were one less this March as compared to last fiscal year.
Excluding November’s $2.5 billion bond sale transfer proceeds, as well as $516 million from interfund borrowing, base general funds grew $6.961 billion during the first three-fourths of the fiscal year. Increased income tax receipts [stemming from the recently enacted higher tax rates], as well as fund sweeps, and an increase in federal sources resulted in the significant gain.