Barbara Rose
August 23, 2007

The Chicago
area will lose more than 10,500 jobs paying more than $780 million in wages
over a two-year period after Bank of America completes its acquisition of
LaSalle Bank Corp., according to a study released Wednesday by community and
worker advocates.

The study analyzes the likely impact on the local economy
of the loss of high-paying headquarters jobs at the area’s second-biggest
banking concern, including an estimated tax hit of more than $48 million to
state and local governments over two years.

Chicago‘s
economy will undeniably be hurt,” Tim Mahon, a principal at research firm
Anderson Economic Group, which conducted the study, said Wednesday.

The pending $21 billion deal is expected to close early
in the fourth quarter.

A Bank of America spokesman said any job loss estimates
are premature. “We’re conducting our own assessment and until that is
complete, we can’t speak to their study,” he said.

“Once the transition is complete, I think you’re
going to find a stronger company that will contribute to the growth of the
economy and be a strong partner to the communities we serve,” he added.

Earlier this year World Business Chicago said the Chicago area’s banking
industry employed 76,550 workers in 2006, up 1,875 jobs, or 2.5 percent, since
2000. Glen Marker, research director at World Business, an economic development
group, called the job creation “fairly impressive” considering that
the total number of jobs in the Chicago
area had shrunk 1.3 percent during the same period. The report also noted that Chicago was no longer home
to any major bank headquarters since Bank One’s buyout by JPMorgan Chase in
2004.

In the LaSalle buyout, the study released Wednesday is a
bid to influence Bank of America’s decisions about not only staffing, but also
lending practices and community reinvestment.

Federal banking regulators consider community impact when
deciding whether to approve a merger. The bank has been meeting this week with
community representatives in Illinois and Michigan.

“We have a long way to go in getting Bank of
America’s attention,” said Malcolm Bush, executive director of the
Woodstock Institute in Chicago, a community development research group.

“When they acquired Fleet Boston in 2004, the
growing concern from community groups led Bank of America to make some specific
pledges about banking activity. We hope that will happen in Chicago,” Bush said.

LaSalle Bank Corp., which employs about 15,000 people
nationwide, operates Chicago-based LaSalle Bank and LaSalle Bank Midwest,
headquartered in Troy, Mich.

The study assumes most headquarters employees will be
laid off or transferred to Bank of America’s headquarters in Charlotte, while most branch employees will
keep their jobs.

Each lost headquarters job, on average, represents a $5.1
million loss in future earnings, the study states.

The study also analyzed the local labor market to
determine how likely it is that displaced LaSalle employees would stay in the
area and create or fill new jobs, as opposed to displacing other workers.

It concludes that more than 4,000 banking jobs would
disappear from the Chicago
area, creating a ripple effect resulting in the loss of more than 6,000 jobs at
other businesses.

The report was commissioned by Save Chicago Jobs and
Community Investment — a coalition of faith-based, community and labor groups
including Woodstock Institute and Service Employees International Union Local
1.