Using online job postings to track Chicago’s labor supply and demand
Chicago’s vast talent pool ranks among the most diverse in the nation: no industry in the Chicago region employs more than 13 percent of the 4.29 million workers here. Since new ideas often arise from the interaction among workers in different industries, the region’s economic diversity is an important driver of innovation. However, an economy as large and complex as Chicago’s requires equally sophisticated ways for employers to find the right talent―and for job seekers to find the right opportunities. Since rising to prominence in the late 1990s, online job boards have offered companies a direct connection to qualified employees and a vital tool for individuals to extend the reach of their job search.
Beyond the primary goal of linking employers and job seekers―job boards account for 1in 5 hires―online postings can also provide insight into hiring trends. New technology is able to mine and analyze data from the nation’s largest job boards, providing metrics on talent supply and employer demand in real time. The volume and type of job postings in the Chicago metropolitan statistical area (MSA), particularly in tech-related fields such as IT and computer programming, suggest movement in the sectors that drive innovation. Similarly, the clear demand for healthcare workers and industrial engineers also reflects activity in innovative industries.