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January 7, 2022

 

 
 
u of i flash index  
 

In a surprising advance, the University of Illinois Flash Index for December rose to 105.7 from its 105.5 level last month, countering the headwinds caused by the emergence of the Omicron variant of  COVID-19. “This is another example of the resiliency of the Illinois and national economies,” said University of Illinois economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the monthly index for the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. “For nearly two years since the onset of the crisis, the economy has been able to weather unprecedented challenges confounding most forecasters.” All the components of the index (individual income tax, sales tax, and corporate tax receipts) were up compared to the same month last year after adjusting for inflation. Both corporate and sales tax revenues were strong. In fact, sales tax receipts were the highest for any month on record, substantially besting the pre-crisis level of December 2019. The Illinois unemployment rate continued its decline to 5.7%, 2.4 percentage points below the level one year ago. Unfortunately, Illinois’ rate is still well above the national average of 4.2%. “Despite the strong month, there is still concern about the impact of the emergence of new virus variants. This has led many forecasters to lower their expectations for 2022, although they remain optimistic,” said Giertz.

 

 
 
  NACo
 

NACo (National Association of Counties) is working with counties across the country as they plan for and implement projects funded by federal recovery programs. The U.S. Department of the Treasury required counties with 250,000 residents and above to submit a Recovery Plan Performance Report that details planned Recovery Fund allocations or expenditures. These plans detail strategies that will foster equitable economic recovery and vitality of local communities and ensure the health and well-being of our nation's residents. From the 200 county plans collected by NACo, counties' top three investment categories include bolstering our nation's local health programs, strengthening our infrastructure system and ensuring that crucial human services are available to residents. Counties are also investing in areas such as housing, broadband, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

 

 
 
Census  
 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2021 national and state population estimates and components of change, the population of the United States grew in the past year by 392,665, or 0.1%, the lowest rate since the nation’s founding. The slow rate of growth can be attributed to decreased net international migration, decreased fertility, and increased mortality due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Population growth has been slowing for years because of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation’s population,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau. “Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in an historically slow pace of growth.” Since April 1, 2020 (Census Day), the nation’s population increased from 331,449,281 to 331,893,745, a gain of 444,464, or 0.13%. Between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, the nation’s growth was due to natural increase (148,043), which is the number of excess births over deaths, and net international migration (244,622). This is the first time that net international migration (the difference between the number of people moving into the country and out of the country) has exceeded natural increase for a given year. The voting-age resident population, adults age 18 and over, grew to 258.3 million, comprising 77.8% of the population in 2021.

 

 
 
  LGE Webinar Series
 

Please join us for the annual Federal Legislative Update at noon (CT) on Wednesday, January 19 at Noon CT, to learn about federal policy updates, in an annual session hosted by University of Illinois Extension and the National Association of Counties (NACo). NACo is a bi-partisan organization based in Washington D.C. which works to ensure county priorities are represented in federal legislation packages. Presenter Erin Hurley, Deputy Director of Government Affairs, Finance, Pensions and Intergovernmental Affairs at the National Association of Counties, will discuss implications of federal legislation for Illinois counties and local governments. Participants will have an opportunity to engage during a Q&A session at the end of the presentation.

 

 
 

January 11 - Illinois Connected Communities Webinar Series (Part 2): Broadband Adoption

January 24 - Illinois State Legislative Update (Webinar)

February 23 - 33rd Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference (Virtual)

February 23 - Rural Partners Annual Meeting of the Membership (Virtual)

 

 
 
 
 
 

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