Governor Quinn Visits Chicago Chocolate Business as Illinois Comeback Continues

Unemployment Rate Falls for 7th Consecutive Month, Employers Add 19,300 Jobs

CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)–October 17, 2014.  As Illinois’ unemployment rate continued falling to its lowest point in more than six years, Governor Pat Quinn today visited Vosges Haut-Chocolat in Chicago to discuss the state’s ongoing economic comeback. In September, Illinois’ unemployment rate dropped for the seventh consecutive month, from 6.7 to 6.6 percent, the lowest level since June 2008. Today’s event is part of the Governor’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“The Illinois economy is making a comeback,” Governor Quinn said. “We’ve made some tough decisions to strengthen our economy and we’re moving in the right direction. More people are working today than when I took office. Illinois’ unemployment rate has fallen for the seventh straight month to its lowest level since June 2008. While we have more work to do to put more people back to work, our economy is growing stronger every day.”

The state unemployment rate fell in September to 6.6 percent and employers created 19,300 jobs, according to data released earlier today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The drop from 9.1 percent a year ago marks the largest yearly decline since 1984.

Employers have added 300,700 private sector jobs since the recovery began in February 2010, and more people are working today than when the Governor took office. The largest gains were in trade, transportation and utilities and professional and business services.

Since taking office and inheriting decades of mismanagement, the Governor has enacted worker’s compensation reform and unemployment insurance reform to make Illinois a better place to do business, in addition to major fiscal reforms such as pension reform and Medicaid restructuring that are restoring fiscal stability to Illinois. Governor Quinn is pushing a new tax cut for businesses that provide job training. By lowering the cost to train workers, businesses will have an easier path to creating new jobs and ensuring workers have the skills to drive a 21st century economy.

Vosges is a successful, national chocolate supplier based in Illinois. In 2012, the Governor and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) made a state investment to help Vosges purchase and improve a manufacturing plant in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. This investment combined with private funds kept the company from moving out of the state. The success in Vosges’ first expansion in Illinois led to an additional public-private partnership in 2014, which enabled Vosges to retain and create more jobs in Illinois.

Today, Vosges employs 75 employees in Chicago and plans to increase its workforce by an additional 10 percent over the next year. In addition, revenues for the company are expected to increase 15 percent in 2015 over its projected total $30 million 2014 revenues. Vosges will also be finishing the Chocolate Temple at 2950 Oakley in 2015 that will include a public tour space and chocolate experience that will be a major local and tourist destination in Chicago.