Strong, Diversified Economy

Chicago’s industry mix most closely matches the nation's, with no single industry employing more than 12% of the workforce.

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 $698 billion. 

The city is an efficient economic powerhouse, home to more than 400 major corporate facilities, including 36 in the Fortune 500, and 31 in the S&P 500.

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.

Most Diversified Economy in the U.S.

Top Metro for New & Expanding Companies

Site Selection magazine has recognized the Chicago area as having more new or expanded corporate facilities than any other for four years in a row: 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.


metro for corporate relocations and expansions as well as Foreign Direct Investment for 7 years running.

Trading Post

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 has the second largest Securities Brokers, Dealers, and Exchanges cluster in the U.S.

Chicago has the second largest corporate headquarter cluster in the U.S.

Chicago has the third largest distribution cluster in the U.S. 

 $697.4B Economy Rivals Nations

The WBC Research Center analyzes a wide range of data, news, and information, extracting business insights to help us understand and/or watch trends, opportunities and risks. As WBC continues to help drive inclusive economic recovery for the city, it will offer quarterly economic dashboards for the city’s business community: