The Internal Revenue Service provides thousands of dollars in tax credits to businesses who hire the hard-to-employ, including low-income ex-felons. But, in 2003, ex-offenders were a small portion of those hired in Illinois.

Notes: Public Assistance recipients’ families may receive food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Supplemental Security Income. Veterans include former military personnel whose families receive food stamps or disabled people who have recently received rehabilitative services from the government. Empowerment Zone residents are 16- to 24-year-olds who live in the federally designated zones, Enterprise Communities or Renewal Communities.

Sources: Illinois Department of Employment Security, U.S. Department of Labor, analyzed by The Chicago Reporter.