DuPage County boasts lowest unemployment rate in region; average annual salary more than $61,000
The 2018 Second Quarter Economic Indicators Report shows DuPage County remains a powerhouse in the region for economic growth. Mid-year data confirms DuPage County’s unemployment rates dropped to 2.6 percent – the lowest unemployment rate in the region and third lowest in Illinois. DuPage County is setting the standard by illustrating what a strong economy looks like, as well as proving itself to be an ideal location for businesses and job seekers looking to build and grow in a booming community.
2018 Mid-Year Report Highlights:
- DuPage County consistently maintains the lowest unemployment rate in the region, falling from 4.2 percent in the first quarter to 2.6 percent; lower than both the State of Illinois (3.5 percent) and United States (3.6 percent).
- DuPage County’s current top job opportunities include positions in computers and mathematics, management, office and administrative support, business and financial operations, sales, transportation and material moving, and healthcare practitioners and technical operations.
- Industrial vacancy rates decreased from 5.5 percent to 5.2 percent; while the office vacancy rate dropped from 15.3 in the first quarter to 14.7 percent.
- The current average annual salary in DuPage County is approximately $61,501 – higher than both the state ($56,136) and national ($53,893) averages.
DuPage County houses nearly 75,000 businesses representing 657,919 jobs across a variety of industries. Employment data indicates current top industries based on employment include healthcare and social assistance (74,715 jobs), professional, scientific and technical services (63,483 jobs), retail trade (62,185 jobs), admin/support/waste management and remediation services (59,337 jobs) and manufacturing (56,652 jobs).
“DuPage County is home to nearly 75,000 businesses that are taking advantage of our highly educated and skilled workforce,” said John Carpenter, president and CEO of Choose DuPage. “Together, these companies represent a variety of diverse industries and employers who are establishing, and advancing their businesses within DuPage County, because of our dynamic business domain. DuPage offers an abundance of high-paying job opportunities—the date proves the time to make a move to DuPage County is now.”
Letter to the Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business
Letter published by Crain’s Chicago Business, July 13, 2018, view here.
A June 18 Crain’s Chicago Business editorial (“Better late than never at O’Hare“) lauded the recent agreement between the Illinois Tollway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, clearing the way for building a western access to O’Hare. Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance and DuPage County officials share in celebrating the clearing of this final hurdle, but respectfully challenge the notion this agreement means planners must look at the entire project anew.
Certainly, market conditions have changed since the concept of Western Access O’Hare was first discussed. However, it’s important to recognize the planning and growth that have already taken place along O’Hare’s western corridor.
The project began with an addition of nearly 50 expressway lane-miles. By converting Thorndale Avenue into a limited-access, four-lane highway, it has created an extension to the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, opening the opportunity to build a bypass that connects I-90 and I-294. The new I-390 tollway that opened last fall is part of the western access effort that will eventually connect to O’Hare, creating a western access point to the airport—a project vital to our region, and especially DuPage County.
Communities within 3 miles of western access have identified more than 30 planning areas where they are seeking to incentivize with development, or redevelopment, in the hopes of modernizing and diversifying economic sections. These plans include a downtown revitalization effort for Bensenville and Wood Dale, as well as Elk Grove industrial park modernizations.
Since 2014, the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance has worked with the Illinois Tollway and regional public- and private-sector leaders to establish the Western Access O’Hare Corridor as a premier global business location. According to the Elgin-O’Hare Western Bypass Advisory Council, the economic benefits of this project include the creation of 65,000 jobs by 2040; 13,450 jobs will be created annually in the region during construction. Travel delays will be reduced, saving an estimated $145 million annually by 2040, in addition to an expected increase of local tax revenues of $29 million annually.
As our region builds the foundation for successful development along the western suburbs bordering O’Hare, DuPage County continues to thrive, maintaining the lowest unemployment rate in the Chicago area and declining industrial vacancy rates. We would like to take this opportunity to invite the public and business community stakeholders to visit and see firsthand the ongoing progress associated with western access that is creating jobs and opportunity today.
Chairman, DuPage County Board
JOHN A. CARPENTER
President and CEO, Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance
Construction has progressed at ComEd’s Itasca Substation expansion project, which is part of a long-range plan to meet an anticipated need for more power in the western O’Hare region. ComEd crews have braved cold temperatures and winter weather to keep the project on-schedule. The Itasca substation expansion project will begin supporting economic development growth in a variety of sectors in Cook and DuPage Counties starting June 1, 2018.
Substantial investments in Illinois are likely to follow soon
Gov. Bruce Rauner, addressing the media to recap his 10-day investment and business growth mission to Germany and Poland, said today that he and his delegation of Illinois business leaders met with dozens of companies to discuss foreign direct investment in Illinois.
“We talked about some really exciting opportunities that are likely to result in substantial investments in our state in the coming months,” Rauner said. “Our meetings took place at critical stages in the decision process for some of these companies and we made Illinois’ case.”
Rauner revealed details of his mission at the headquarters of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). Near the end of his trip, he made the official announcement that MPEA will host Germany’s world-renowned manufacturing trade show brand at McCormick Place co-located with the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).
Combined, Germany’s HANNOVER MESSE and our IMTS will attract more than 125,000 visitors and produce hundreds of millions in economic impact for Illinois, and the City of Chicago and the Chicagoland area.
“This fall we are excited to welcome HANNOVER MESSE to McCormick Square for their first show in the United States,” said Lori T. Healey, CEO, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). “I believe there will be in excess of 125,000 people here this year taking up every square inch of rentable space on this campus for this huge show. That’s a lot of people eating in restaurants, staying in hotels, and providing an economic boost for Chicago and the surrounding area.”
“IMTS has further enhanced its attractiveness as a ‘must attend’ international manufacturing technology destination by partnering with HANNOVER MESSE,” says Michelle Edmonson, Senior Director – Exhibitions Operations & Marketing. “Co-locating HANNOVER MESSE USA with IMTS 2018 increases the show’s emphasis on automation, robotics and Industry 4.0, with approximately 550 additional exhibitors occupying 130,000 sq. ft. of floor space.”
“Growth-minded visitors will attend IMTS 2018 looking for solutions that remove production bottlenecks,” says Peter R. Eelman, Vice President – Exhibitions & Business Development at AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology, which produces IMTS. “For many manufacturers, simply doing more of the same thing in a larger space or adding more people isn’t a viable option. Growth requires change, and visitors view IMTS as a change agent. They come to the show knowing that they can find technologies that not just shave minutes off production cycles, but that can positively disrupt their manufacturing approach.”
According to the governor, the mission provided an opportunity to meet with companies that already have Illinois in their sights for investment.
“This trade mission solidified the fact that we have a tremendous opportunity to revitalize our middle class through bringing manufacturing jobs back to Illinois. To do this, however, we need to ensure a strong workforce is in place and is prepared to fill these positions with the right skillsets. At the end of the day, the positives Illinois has to offer far outweigh the negatives,” said Illinois Manufacturers Association President and CEO Greg Baise. “This mission highlighted the employer demand—and incredible opportunity—to develop a direct pipeline of educated students and connect them to a workforce eager to hire them.”
The governor noted that the mission had a marketing aspect, as well. Illinois is the world’s 18th largest economy and its assets are well known to the 200+ German and Polish companies that employ more than 38,000 Illinoisans. But there are thousands more that don’t know the Illinois story.
Intersect Illinois CEO Mark Peterson, whose organization financed most of the trip, was also encouraged by the results. “This is only the beginning of the focused efforts that Intersect Illinois will lead in the coming years. Helping the State of Illinois to recruit new companies from around the world and attract foreign direct investment is exactly what Intersect was created for. We look forward to announcing new investment in the coming months as a direct result of this trade mission.”
“This is an exciting time for DuPage County and the region as a whole. Working closely with the Governor’s Office, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and Intersect Illinois, DuPage County has expanded its global footprint with international businesses seeking to relocate, or expand operations here,” said John Carpenter, President and CEO of Choose Dupage.
Consuls General and U.S. Ambassadors arranged for hundreds of prospective investors to hear the Illinois story.
“Over the course of this mission we talked to companies throughout Poland and Germany looking to build and grow relationships with Illinois,” said DCEO Director Sean McCarthy. “By making these connections and selling Illinois assets abroad we can bring a lot of foreign direct investment to Illinois.”
“We met with business and education leaders in two of Europe’s most compelling economies,” Rauner said. “Germany is a mainstay in world commerce and is a $3.4 billion customer for Illinois businesses. Poland is a rising economic star that has parlayed fiscal discipline into more than 25 consecutive years of economic growth. We look forward to seeing where these friendships lead.”
Video of the event is posted here.