CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Governor Bruce Rauner is back on the campaign trail on his quest for a second four-year term in office.
The incumbent Republican replayed many of his greatest hits from his 2014 campaign during his two stops in Decatur and Champaign on Monday, but he struggled to defend his own record on job growth since he took office.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show Illinois ranked 48th in job growth nationwide between September 2016 and September 2017. Only two states ranked lower during that stretch and they lost jobs.
Rauner acknowledge the state’s economic troubles, but said the problem predates his tenure.
“I could say that we have added 150,000 new jobs since I became governor,” Rauner said of his first three years in office. That figure doesn’t match seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which list new jobs in Illinois at 119,000 since January of 2015.
Rauner’s campaign later replied to our request for clarification via email saying his jobs figure was only meant as a rough estimate, and pointed out that the official federal numbers don’t account for non-seasonally adjusted data.
Rauner repeated his stump speech promises to freeze property taxes, implement term limits, pass a balanced budget and cut the state income tax down to three percent — all agenda items he has promised before.
“What I’m campaigning on is, I’ve worked hard and had some success,” Rauner explained, “but we can have far greater success if we could change our system. It’s broken. We need to reduce the regulatory burden and the tax burden. I want us to have, in a three year period, half a million new jobs, not just 150,000.”