16 million Americans lose their jobs. But no one working for Chicago will

Mayor Lori Lightfoot talks about the coronavirus pandemic at City Hall on Wednesday. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot talks about the coronavirus pandemic at City Hall on Wednesday. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)

In one Mayor Lori Lightfoot's  most staggering promises, she has ruled out layoffs in city government because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sun-Times reported:

“We are not expecting to do any layoffs,” the mayor told a news conference hours before Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order was extended for another month.

“Our economy in this region is incredibly diverse. And if you look at how we have fared in other economic downturns — whether it was 9/11, the Great Recession of 2008 or 2009 — we’ve had some impact, of course. But, we rebounded back very, very strong and well.”

Wow, talk about President Donald Trump being disconnected from reality. That would make Chicago unlike every other city in America whose  budgets are getting torpedoed by the pandemic's higher costs and lower revenues.

In just three weeks, jobless claims have roared in the tune of 16 million but if Lightfoot is right, none of the city's 34,000 are included. Meanwhile, Chicago taxpayers will continue to get squeezed, but only tighter.

No one wants to see anyone get fired, but the exclusive club of Chicago employees reeks of dysfunction, at best. Or blind incompetence and the Way of Chicago.

Consider: The New York Times reported that ten percent of American workers filed for unemployment in the past three weeks; never, not even in the Great Depression, has the nation suffered such a rapid collapse of the labor market.

Millions more are struggling to submit unemployment claims to overwhelmed state agencies. And still more face the loss of their jobs in the coming weeks.

The scale of the economic damage is breathtaking. In one recent poll, more than half of all Americans under the age of 45 said that they had lost their jobs or suffered a loss of hours.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports

But that mammoth effort [the federal rescue package] is still likely to leave millions of additional Americans unemployed for an extended time, according to new economic forecasts that see U.S. unemployment not just spiking to Depression-era levels in coming weeks, but remaining above a relatively high rate of 6% through the end of 2021.

But not Chicago city workers. Did I hear someone say, "We're all in this together?"



My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812


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  • It sounds like you want Mayor Lightfoot to lay off workers principally to show solidarity with workers who are laid off in general across the public and private sector. It would be a symbolic gesture then?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    You're reading too much onto this. I want Lightfoot acknowledge the difficulty that this city--already up to its neck in problems--is in and act accordingly. To put it another way: To be honest.

  • fb_avatar

    Notice the liberal media ignores this claim of hers. In the end the taxpayers will be forced to pick up the tab (the ones who mostly are now out of work) and the media will bury her statements on how well off the city is to withstand this economic disaster.

  • Everybody knows that every city worker is essential.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    .....even the dead ones.

  • Gotta love it. I can, because I had the sense to move out of ill years ago and have been taking countless extra thousands to the bank over the years. Why people I know stay there and put up with it is beyond me!

  • As a taxpayer, I don't know that your plan to fire municipal employees would help much. Under Illinois Department of Employment Services rules, fired municipal employees would be eligible for state and federal unemployment benefits, so they would join the hundreds of thousands of other discharged workers to collect unemployment checks.

    Maybe we would get more for our money by having them work for their money.

  • Jeez, I don't have a plan to fire anyone. The point of the post was that while millions of people suffer, city workers enjoy the extraordinary blessing of a paycheck. Doesn't that seem to be a little, well, odd?

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