Illinois improved from "B" to "B+" in its global position in manufacturing exports, according to the annual Manufacturing Scorecard study from Ball State University.
The study conducted by the Muncie, Indiana university's Center for Business and Economic Research also raised Illinois' grade from "C" to "B-" in its human capital due to relatively better high school graduation rates, and "F" to "D-" in its tax climate.
The state retained "A" in logistics, "B-" in productivity and innovation, "C+" in the manufacturing industry and diversification categories, and "F" in Liability Gap. Illinois declined from "C-" to "D+" in its benefits costs due to relatively higher assisted living costs, according to the study.
The 2019 Manufacturing Scorecard analyzes how each state ranks among its peers in several areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics. The specific measures include manufacturing and logistics industry health, human capital, cost of worker benefits, diversification of the industries, state-level productivity and innovation, expected fiscal liability, tax climate, and global reach.
Categories were chosen as those most likely to be considered by site selection experts for manufacturing and logistics firms, and by the prevailing economic research on growth. Each category included multiple variables for each state that were aggregated and then ranked first to 50th, with 1st being the most desirable. Within each category, the lowest aggregate score assigned provided the overall rank.
More detailed information can be found at mfgscorecard.cberdata.org.