To the editor:
The unemployment rate is now over 10 percent and increasing according to recent reports. It is certainly higher in some areas of southwestern Illinois. When including the underemployed, those no longer looking for work, and those cut from full time to part-time work, the rate is about 17 percent. This is a historically high rate, according to the U.S. Department of Labor information.
Our elected officials need to create a business environment allowing businesses to make long term plans to expand and hire new workers. Small business owners who create the most jobs in the United States have been especially hurt by the current negative business environment.
Special one-time incentives elected officials provide for selective individuals, industries or businesses does little, but create temporary jobs and create an artificial business environment.
Our area has been hurt by the current negative business environment, as evidenced by the loss of high paying union jobs and few net new white collar jobs. Many new jobs being created have been either part time or low paying retail/service industry jobs.
We need a long term business policy that includes lower taxation, simpler taxation, less government mandates and less regulations for all businesses.
I encourage our local, state, and federal elected officials to a create pro business and a pro jobs environment. Otherwise, we will be faced with long term systemic high unemployment and the continued loss of jobs overseas.