Caterpillar

Lawmakers introduced competing plans to make sure state employees can remain on the job even if there's no end to the state budget standoff. Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner is refusing to say whether he approves of the incipient budget compromise being worked out in the state Senate. And what does it say about the future of the downstate economy that Caterpillar Inc. is moving several hundred top jobs from Peoria to the Chicago area?

 Caterpillar says CEO Doug Oberhelman will retire from the company next year and will be replaced with Jim Umpleby, an executive who has  worked at the company for more than three decades. 

Caterpillar says it plans to close five plants and trim about 670 jobs in
Illinois and several other states, in the latest phase of a larger cost-cutting
campaign announced last year.

Caterpillar

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says he expects the city and region to absorb a sizable hit as manufacturer Caterpillar plans to reduce its workforce by as many as 10,000 people.  

Ardis told The Associated Press Thursday that the company has not shared specifics about the local impact of what could amount to an 8 percent reduction to its global workforce of 126,800 by 2018. Half of those cuts are expected by the end of next year.  

Despite the U.S. being reliant on China for exports, many Americans have a hard time understanding what is taking place with the world's largest economy. 

We figured it was a good time to bring in Roy Wehrle, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Illinois Springfield. 

Caterpillar Announces It Will Stay In Peoria

Feb 20, 2015
Flickr/File Upload Bot (Magnus Manske)

Caterpillar says it’s staying in Peoria. The world’s largest heavy equipment maker announced plans to expand its world headquarters in downtown Peoria after a two-and-a-half-year building study. Governor Bruce Rauner says many other states and countries tried to lure Cat away from Peoria, “I personally know what they did, who they called, how often they came, what they offered, and they offered all kinds of benefits. Caterpillar said, ‘No. I’m going to be loyal to the state of Illinois where we were built and where we will build our long-term future.’”

flickr/ptooey

Illinois has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation.  And Decatur has the highest in the state.

Caterpillar announced hundreds of layoffs this summer and that is now showing up in the jobless rate.  Decatur's rate has gone up to 13.2 percent, 2 full percentage points above where it was a year ago.  And it's also at the highest level it's been this time of year in about three decades.  

A somewhat unlikely coalition is calling on Illinois' Congressional delegation to support an overhaul of the nation's immigration policy.       

                                                                           

At a Springfield roundtable discussing immigration, Mark Peters, an attorney with Peoria-based Caterpillar, started off his remarks by saying: "This would be a ... a really bad preface to a poor joke about a sheriff, a lawyer and a priest going into a bar..."