IL: State’s debt equals $55K for every private-sector worker, report says

By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Watchdog

SPRINGFIELD — Every private-sector employee in Illinois would have to pony up more than $55,000 each to pay for all of the state’s accrued debt, according to a new analysis.

Illinois has $271.1 billion worth of debt, among the worst states in terms of total debt, according to a report by research group State Budget Solutions released in late August. The debt includes unfunded pension liability, state retiree insurance benefits, budget gaps and outstanding bonds.

All 50 states combined have $4.19 trillion worth of debt — the equivalent of $37,486 for every private-sector worker in the country.

An updated analysis this week shows that Illinois’ debt breaks down to $55,084 for each private-sector employee in Illinois.

“Private sector workers are at increased risk, as they are the ultimate tax base for reducing state debt,” according to the analysis.

The group used figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics to calculate the per-private-sector-worker debt. Hawaii has the largest debt per private sector worker at $83,815. AlaskaNew JerseyConnecticutNew MexicoIllinois,Ohio and California followed.

Nebraska had the lowest per-private-sector-worker debt.

The broader per-capita amount for every Illinoisan comes to just more than $21,000, according to SBS’s analysis. Alaska had the highest per-capita debt. New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut and Illinois followed. Nebraska, again, has the lowest per-capita debt.

Contact Jayette Bolinski at [email protected]. Find Illinois Watchdog on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ILSthouseNews.

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