SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — A new survey of several hundred corporate chief executives finds they have a very low opinion of the business climate in Illinois.
As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, the survey, conducted by Chief Executive magazine and released Wednesday, ranks Illinois 48th out of the 50 states for what CEOs say is the state’s business unfriendliness.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports
Texas was ranked No. 1 in the survey, and Indiana – where Gov. Mitch Daniels has publicly urged Illinois businesses to relocate – ranked fifth.
In issuing the low ranking for Illinois, the executives cited the state’s struggles with a mounting budget deficit, rising taxes, and the public campaigns by other states to lure businesses out of Illinois.
“It may be no accident that most of the states in the top 20 are also right-to-work states, as labor force flexibility is highly sought after when a business seeks a location,” the magazine noted, referring to laws in place in 23 U.S. states that bar unions from requiring non-members to pay dues.
But the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity counters by saying the state added 32,000 jobs last year, and has seen unemployment drop for seven straight months.
“Under Governor (Pat) Quinn’s direction, we are taking the necessary steps to strengthen our economy, attract new investment and put more people to work,” Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity spokeswoman Marcelyn Love said in an email.
Peoria-based Caterpillar has been one of the state’s frequent critics, but a spokesman says the state is now taking steps to move in a better direction.
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