Chicago has one of the world's largest and most diversified economies, with more than four million employees and generating an annual gross regional product (GRP) of over $500 billion. It is an efficient economic powerhouse that is home to more than 400 major corporate headquarters, including 29 Fortune 500 headquarters. Among the most diverse economies in the nation, Chicago is a key player in every sector from risk management innovation to manufacturing to information technology to health services.
The most distinctive aspect of Chicago's financial services community is also among its oldest. The city's derivatives exchange community, which started with commodity futures trading at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1848, established the city as a global financial center. To this day, even though the trading of derivatives is conducted on an ever-expanding international scale, Chicago arguably remains the geographic center of global derivatives trading – in terms of markets, scale and talent.
- Chicago exchanges generate $3.5 billion in annual global derivatives trading volume, 40% more than New York
- Chicago-based Options Clearing Corporation clears all US options contracts – 4 billion in 2012
- Chicago futures and options exchanges collectively dominate exchange-based derivatives trading, with half of exchange-based derivatives trading in the U.S.
- Chicago accounts for 17% of the global derivatives trading market; more than New York (12%), and nearly as much as all exchanges in Europe (21%)
Chicago has long been a leader in sustainable business, underscoring a commitment to be the greenest city in America. Chicago continuously ranks as one of the most sustainable cities in the country, with more LEED registered and certified buildings than any other city, is home to 20 wind energy companies (including 13 headquarters), a Top 5 Metro rating for the number of Energy Star rated buildings, and an incomparable workforce - including more than 2,600 LEED credentialed employees. Combined with cutting edge R&D and wide-ranging incentives, Chicago is an ideal location for green companies to locate and grow. Read More…
Chicago continues to grow: total trade reached $188 billion in 2012 (up from $154 billion in 2008). Chicago is top-ranked for economic potential among major cities across the world, and in 2012, World Business Chicago identified more than 600 new & expanding facilities announced, under development or completed in the metro area, representing a total of 35 million square feet and $10.5 billion in economic development activity. In 2013, Inc. Magazine included 252 companies from the Chicago region in its annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S., placing Chicago 4th among metro regions for number companies ranked; the city itself was represented by 89 companies on the list.