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The Jewel of the Midwest: Employment Trends in the Chicago Area

chicago job trends


Get ready for high winds: employment in Chicago is booming. The Chicago metro area is the crown jewel of Cook County, which dominates state employment by offering around four times as many jobs as the second most employing region.

The Chicago area employment is consistently high, and times are changingin a good way. In August 2019 employment was up by around 1% from early 2018, and appears to be recovering steadily from a slight gully across last year with rates almost reaching the regional highs of 2015. The jobs here are concentrated in Chicago, the seat of Cook County, which accounts for about 80% of the area’s jobs. Cook County represents almost half of the population of Illinois and is the second most populated county in the nation. Employment opportunities echo this strength: Chicago is the biggest metro area for employment on Lensa and has a very strong economy for jobseekers. The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area has seen a year-over-year employment increase since 2010 and shows no signs of flagging.

The rate of job growth has moderately slowed in the last year, but it still figures as one of the top 12 regions for employment in the US. Despite the slowing, numerical job growth in the region is among the top 10 for the US and Chicago has grown by “almost three Amazon HQ2s” in only eight years. Downtown Chicago has seen job growth rates skyrocketing, with a 27.9% increase in jobs since the Great Recession, and the entire region has also grown, albeit at a slower rate. The massive growth of employment in Downtown Chicago can be attributed largely to the influx of major employers seeking new talent pools, having largely tapped the region’s coastal competitors. The last eight years mark the biggest employment boom that the region has seen since at least World War II.

Intrigued about working in the jewel of the Midwest? See some important Lensa stats about employment in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area.

Top Industries for Jobs in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin

Whether you’re in the area or you’re considering a move there, it’s important for you to know about your prospects. We’ve collected the top regional industries to help you get started:

Top Hirers in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin

If you’re looking for a job in the metro area, you’re in luck: the Chicago area is one of the most highly concentrated areas for employment on Lensa, across a variety of industries. The top hirers in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin areas on Lensa are:

Looking for a jobs in Chicago? Check out personalized job postings in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area, or sign up with Lensa for daily local job opportunities.

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Team Lensa
Team Lensa is a group of HR specialists, career counselors, and tech enthusiasts dedicated to helping job seekers navigate the employment landscape through actionable tips and insights.

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