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:
- New hires in the Midwest increased from 1,164,000 to 1,209,000, a 3.9% percent year-over-year improvement since April 2014. Furthermore, the Cook County unemployment insurance claims have decreased year-over-year by 15.4% since May 2014.
- Two consumer sentiment indexes reported robust gains over the last year. The Consumer Sentiment Index increased by 12.1 percentage points since June 2014, and the Consumer Confidence Index increased by 12.4 percentage points since May 2014.
- Median home sales price has once again posted double digit year-over-year growth in April as it did in March. Chicago median home price was $275,000 in April, a year-over-year growth of 10%.
- New private residential building permits in the City of Chicago increased by 38.1% year-over-year. From January to April 2015, 2,608 building permits were issued, compared to 1,908 permits issued during same period in 2014.
- Passenger and air cargo volume for O’Hare and Midway Airports grew by 593,154 and 24,700 tonnes; a respective 7.9% and 20% year-over-year change since April 2014.
These and other trends are illustrated in this month’s Chicago by the Numbers.