Business news

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

As we enter the holiday season, many workers are thinking about the extra days off. 

The State Chamber of Commerce keeps tabs on paid holidays by employers across the state. The average number of paid holidays in Illinois comes in at nearly nine days a year with an average of nearly three personal paid days thrown in.

Looking ahead to the next year, nearly 98 percent of employers will give paid holidays for New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day … along with Thanksgiving.

Artwork provided

The multi-purpose indoor athletic facility under construction in downtown Rockford got a financial boost and a new name Thursday, thanks to UW Health.

What originally was called the Downtown Sportscore now will be known as the UW Health Sports Factory.

The parent company of Rockford’s SwedishAmerican Health System will pay roughly $1.9 million over a 10-year period to have its name and logo emblazoned on the building and various associated materials.

Clean-Up For Canadian Pacific Train Derailment Continues

Nov 9, 2015

Contractors for Canadian Pacific Railway are working to clear more than a dozen derailed train cars in southern Wisconsin after hundreds of gallons of crude oil spilled from one tanker.

Watertown fire chief Gregory Michalek said Monday that residents who evacuated dozens of homes following the spill a day earlier cannot yet return home as cleanup continues.

Thirteen of 110 cars derailed in Watertown Sunday afternoon. It’s the second derailment in Wisconsin in two days.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

America needs more aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians. Rockford is now home to one of the nation’s only registered apprenticeship programs aimed at filling that need. The U.S. Department of Labor and Rockford aircraft maintenance company Emery Air signed an agreement Wednesday to create a training pipeline for the career that’s in heavy demand.

University of Illinois

The Illinois economy continues to grow … but at a slower rate than a few months ago. That’s according to a monthly economic report from the University of Illinois.

The U of I Flash Index fell to 105.8 in October from 106 in September. Though any number over 100 indicates growth in the state's economy, this is the third month of decline for the index.

The report's author Fred Giertz says the slower growth is a reflection of a bigger global trend -- including slowdowns in Europe and China.

Mercy Rockford Health System

OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center could be forced to cut the equivalent of 200 full-time jobs if the Rockford Health System Riverside Campus is built on the east side.

That is one of several objections raised about the project in a letter from St. Anthony CEO and President Paula Carynski filed last week with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

WNIJ’s Gas Price Monday: Oct. 26, 2015

Oct 26, 2015
Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Gas prices in Illinois fell a little from last week ... but only about a dime.

According to AAA, gallon of regular gas in the Rockford area costs $2.31 on average. That’s 7 cents less than a week ago and about 70 cents less than a year ago.

Chicago prices are at $2.80 per gallon. That's about a dime less than a week ago and about 75 cents less than a year ago.


A bigger portion of older people's income could be going to healthcare costs next year.

This change is based on something seemingly unrelated: Low gas prices.

Each year, the federal government releases what's called a "consumer price index," that lays out the amount of inflation observed in the U.S. economy.

Social Security and other government beneficiaries will receive a cost of living increase tied to inflation. But economists this year predict there will be no cost of living adjustment, known as a COLA, because gas prices have been so low.

ConAgra Foods

Governor Bruce Rauner says Illinois will see a net gain of jobs from a  Fortune 500 company that just received state tax breaks. 

ConAgra already employees Illinois workers, but it's transferring them from Naperville to Chicago. That’s part of a larger move to the city from its headquarters in Omaha.

United Auto Workers members have resoundingly rejected a four-year contract with Fiat Chrysler. Workers at the plant in Belvidere were among the last in the nation to vote on the deal union leaders had worked out with the automaker: like most Fiat Chrysler plants nation-wide, they overwhelmingly vote "no."

65% of the Belvidere plant's 3000 UAW members voted against the proposal. It's considered a rebuke of their union leaders who supported the deal.