Posted by: adrienehill | January 23, 2009

WSJ’s “Main Steet Journal” focuses on Rockford, IL

The Wall Street Journal posted a short video about Rockford’s high unemployment rate and its hope for the future.  From the website –“Larry Morrisey, mayor of Rockford, Ill., says his city is dealing with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Still, he says there’s hope for its future as long as Rockford is willing to make tough decisions. This is the latest installment in the “Main Street Journal” series. ”  You can find the  WSJ’s video interview with Morrisey on-line here. 

Rockford has had a rough go of it recently–in November, unemployment in the metropolitan area was up over 10 percent.

If you live in the Rockford area, we’d love to hear from you.  Have you noticed the high unemployment rate?  What’s it meant for you?



  1. I work for the Gates Corp. on Sandy Hollow and our plant is closing, moving some jobs to Mexico.
    we have not heard of any action from city government to help this company to try and stay.
    If this trend continues Rockford population will leave to find employment, leaving higher taxes to the residents that stay. Why does everyone say we need to do a better job working together to keep our jobs but it seems like we are only trying to keep the low paying ones. So is it Rockfords plan to lower the standards of its people?

  2. I was born in Rockford. I grew up in Rockford. I graduated Rock Valley College. And I left at age 22, and I left in August of ’09. The last time I was easily able to get a job was August of ’08, which was when I went looking again. It took a month, though, and the work was hard as hell. I left, because I believed Rockford was truly going under. It is. I’m in Chicago, now, which is slowly going under itself. What can Rockford do? I don’t even know if spending money is the answer. People in Rockford don’t have that much money. Rockford people need better ways of going out to other cities and getting jobs. Bring the Metra into Rockford; extend it from Harvard…do something. Anyway, I don’t know if Rockford will improve. If it doesn’t improve by the end of the year, then Rockford might have 20% unemployment or be in a depression. Growing up, people always joked that Rockford was eventually going to go under. This looks like that time. Why is Rockford the way it is? People don’t spend enough money at local shops. People act ignorant and like scared children. Also, businesses have a hard time attracting people. I noticed Rockford going down when it became harder and harder to find a job. And I mean, it’s really hard there now. What angered me about this recession as a young man is that I was always insulted by people saying, “Your brothers worked at your age…” and things like that. Well, the 1990s had a much better economy. And it seems as thought it is now three times as hard to find a job in Rockford than it was in the 1990s. And that is pretty bad. I think being homeless in another city with much lower unemployment while looking for a job is a much better solution than me moving back to Rockford. I don’t know how to solve Rockford’s recession.

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