Chicago by the Numbers August 2015

World Business Chicago tracks indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including employment in major sectors, residential and office real estate data, price and purchasing indexes, freight demand, and auto and truck sales. Note: employment data refers to payroll job estimates for the city of Chicago and is not adjusted for seasonality.

Key trends evident this month include:

  • The Chicago (city) economy has expanded by an estimated 15,294 jobs a 1.3 percent year-over-year improvement since June 2014, mostly attributed to education and health services (+8,782) and professional and business services (+8,227) sectors.
  • New hires in the Midwest increased from 1,044,000 to 1,182,000, a 13.2 percent year-over-year improvement since June 2014.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Index increased by 10.4 percentage points since August 2014.
  • The Architectural Billings Index, an indication of future construction spending, reached its highest level since 2007 (55.7), led by institutional projects. The Midwest reported the highest average of the four regions (57.2)
  • Median home sales price increased by 5.5% year-over-year since June 2014. In the same time period, the number of home sales increased by 9.3%.
  • Passenger and air cargo volume for O’Hare and Midway Airports grew by 599,588 and 9,656 tonnes; a 7.1% year-over-year change for both since June 2014.


These and other trends are illustrated in this month’s Chicago by the Numbers.