RCF Special Report – Fewer People and More Jobs Lead to Large Gains in Per Capita Income in Illinois

RCF’s new report examines population and employment changes in Illinois.  The full report can be found here: RCF Illinois Per Capita Income May 2017.

Illinois is one of only two states to lose population from 2013 to 2016. From 2013 to 2016, the population of Illinois declined by 0.6 percent while the population in the U.S. increased 2.2 percent. Other nearby states saw increases in their population, though all these states saw slower population growth than occurred nationally. Some of this population loss is a continuation of a decades-long trend of people moving to southern and western states. However, given that other Midwest states have seen population gains, it is likely that the decline in Illinois’ population means that many Illinois residents have a negative outlook regarding the state’s future. Moreover, population losses in Illinois have been widespread, with 91 of the state’s 102 counties seeing a decline in population over the past three years.

Yet, despite the population loss, Illinois has added almost 200,000 workers over the past three years. Although much of this job growth is in the Chicago area, 79 of 102 counties in Illinois had an increase in employment from 2013 to 2016.

The combination of increased employment and decreased population means that there has been a meaningful increase in the proportion of the state’s residents who are employed. In fact, the employment-to-population ratio in Illinois has grown more rapidly than for the nation as a whole.

Furthermore, the increase in the proportion of the state’s population that is employed has contributed to an 11.7 percent increase in per capita personal income from 2013 to 2016. This is actually somewhat greater than the 11.4 percent increase in per capital personal income across the entire U.S. during the same period.

Even more significant, per capita personal income has grown faster in Illinois than in virtually all of its neighboring states.

Thus, while many have left Illinois, the economic conditions of those who remain are much better than commonly believed.

A more detailed analysis of county changes in population and employment will be available in our forthcoming report, “Illinois: Fewer People and More Jobs.”

For additional information or questions, please contact Mr. Peter Bernstein, RCF Vice President, 312-431-1540 ext.1515 or by email: pbernstein@rcfecon.com.

Testimony of RCF President Dr. George S. Tolley Helps Win Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Case

In an April 2017 decision, the Massachusetts Land Court credited Dr. George S. Tolley, President of RCF Economic & Financial Consulting, Inc. (www.rcfecon.com) and Professor Emeritus of Economics at University of Chicago, with successfully testifying that no proof had been offered of depressive effects on property values from spent nuclear fuel in dry cask storage.  The case involved the famed Pilgrim plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Dr. Tolley’s testimony was instrumental in convincing the court that Plaintiffs had not offered credible evidence of damages, saving the defendant Entergy the expense that would have ensued from loss of the case.  In an earlier proceeding, Dr. Tolley had successfully testified that there were no negative property value impacts from proximity to Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear plant in New York.  Dr. Tolley further demonstrated there were positive property value impacts from Entergy’s payments in lieu of taxes, which had the effect of reducing local property taxes thus acting actually to increase property values.

The Land Court’s decision has implications for dozens of nuclear plants and nearby locales throughout the U.S.  As capacity to store spent nuclear fuel in deep pools at each plant approaches a limit, dry cask is the next best alternative in view of the fact that permanent, centralized storage is not currently available in the U.S.

For more details on the Massachusetts Land Court case, see the court’s decision:  http://masscases.com/cases/land/2017/2017-13-479028-DECISION.html

For more details on findings in the Indian Point proceeding, see the following:  http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1333/ML13331B465.pdf