Low Wage Employment in Illinois


September 1, 2008

The State of Working Illinois reports document how the state’s employment patterns have changed over the last two decades. The most significant trend identified was the replacement of good-paying jobs, mainly in the manufacturing sector, by lower-paying ones, principally in service sectors. This shift has been dramatic. Manufacturing was the largest employer in Illinois in 1990, accounting for slightly more than 20 percent the state’s workers. But by 2006, the low-wage service sector was the top employer, accounting for over 30 percent of all workers in Illinois. This transition from high-wage to low-wage jobs is a topic of vital importance to the state’s economy and to the lives of working Illinoisans and their families. Consequently, Low Wage Employment provides a detailed examination of the state’s low-wage employment, identifying such factors as the occupations, earnings and demographics associated with the low-wage sector.

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Topics:Workforce/Economic Development, Workforce Development

Tags:Wages, Illinois Economy