Illinois’ economic comeback continues

The Flash index, showing this month an increase to 95.9 from 95.6. 100 is the break-even point between growth and contraction. (Photo University of Illinois Flash Index)


By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – The economic recovery in Illinois has a University of Illinois professor somewhat optimistic.

Fred Giertz says there’s no denying, though, that the year 2020 was a bad one for the economy. “If you went back to April 2020 and asked how will we be at the end of the year,” he said, “I think we are much better off than we expected. It’s a bad situation, but not as bad as we probably thought the first several weeks of the crisis.”

Giertz measures the Illinois economy and writes it up in his Flash index, showing this month an increase to 95.9 from 95.6. 100 is the break-even point between growth and contraction.

Giertz says while the president’s hand is not necessarily on the lever every time, the market does respond when people have confidence – or a lack of confidence – in a new leader.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…