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dir="ltr">Illinois’ technological manufacturing sector is holding back on rehiring workers because of concerns about changing regulations and the possibility of another state shutdown, according to a new survey.
The Technology and Manufacturing Association’s Midwest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey found what the association called “a clear picture of an industry trying to recover but facing serious obstacles due to government regulation and taxation.”
The association's monthly survey was at a two-year optimism high in February, but plummeted to 20 percent in April because of the pandemic and the shutdowns that came after.
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It more than doubled to 44 percent last month, with just over half of their members expressing an optimistic outlook about the national economy and 16 percent of the same opinion about the state of Illinois.
“Small and mid-size manufacturers are ready, and need, the economy to return to full capacity,” said Dennis LaComb, the association's vice president of government relations. “They are trying to rebuild and plan for the future following the government-mandated economic shutdown. Unfortunately, the ever-changing rules, on top of already established regulations, red-tape, and confiscatory taxes, makes it extremely difficult to do so. The unprecedented government control is hindering small and mid-size manufacturers from putting people back to work and ensuring that families can earn the money they need to pay their bills and keep loved ones safe.”
Manufacturers said they were hesitant to rehire employees back with the prospect of another wave of state-ordered shutdowns either at a regional level or a business-level.
“We've added so much uncertainty that they're not calling their workers back,” TMA Illinois President Steve Rauschenberger said. “They're bidding differently because they have to allow for contingencies that they can't even imagine.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment regarding the poll.