Shawnee National Forest

Illinois’ history is littered with famous accomplishments, including the first skyscraper, the first cell phone and dozens of other world-changing inventions. It is the home state of three American presidents and the birthplace of a fourth. It has a population in the millions and an economy that can compete on a global scale. However, all of these achievements are built on the state’s natural resources.

Wind, water, minerals, soil and plant life have all shaped the lives of Illinois’ residents, as has Illinois’ position at the crossroads of North America.

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How Texas and Indiana rely on Illinois union workers’ wagesA new academic study of state economies suggests there’s a hidden deduction lurking in Illinois union workers’ paychecks. Turns out anti-union states like Texas and Indiana overly rely on the federal taxes paid by union workers in other states to prop up their economies.

From the University of Illinois report …
While workers in right-to-work states account for just 37.4 percent of all federal income tax revenues, they receive 41.9 percent of all non-health, non-retirement government assistance, the paper says.

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switzIllinois’ critics like to compare the state to its neighbors like Indiana and Wisconsin. But is that really fair? We took a look at the size of Illinois’ economy and compared it to our neighbors and the other 49 states. Here’s what we found:

According to World Bank statistics and the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, Illinois’ gross state product is approximately $720 billion. If we were an independent nation, we’d rank 23rd in the world, between Saudi Arabia, with its nearly limitless oil wealth, and Switzerland, one of the world’s biggest financial centers.

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Illinois is home to 33 Fortune 500 companies - the fourth most in the nation. These companies include famous names like McDonald's, Walgreens and Kraft.

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20percThe cost of insurance to cover worker injuries has gone down nearly 20 percent over the past three years, saving Illinois employers nearly $460 million.

The National Council on Compensation recommended lowering workers’ compensation insurance premiums by 5.5 percent in 2015, which means Illinois’ workers’ comp rates have fallen by nearly 20 percent over three years.

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