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, and freight demand. 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 9,252 jobs, a .8 percent year-over-year improvement since September 2014. The vast majority of this growth can be attributed to the professional and business services (+6,593 jobs), education and health services (+4,821), and retail trade (+1,287) sectors. The manufacturing sector experienced the most significant decrease in jobs (-2,062).
- The unemployment rate in Chicago (city) decreased year-over-year. The city’s September 2015 unemployment rate of 5.6% is 1.3 percentage points lower than the rate of 6.9% in September 2014.
- The percent of firms hiring in Chicago (MSA) increased 6.3% since August 2014, while median home price held steady at $270,000.
- Air cargo volume for O’Hare and Midway Airports grew by 8,193 tons in September 2015; a 6.1% year-over-year change since September 2014.
These and other trends are illustrated in this month’s Chicago by the Numbers.