Chicago is a major financial centre in the US, with a highly developed professional services industry. However, the metropolis was and remains the country's major manufacturing hub, in addition to being a transport and distribution centre. In 2016, Chicago created 3.6% of total US GDP, ranking as the country's third largest metropolitan area. Households in Chicago boasted some of the highest disposable income growth in the US (10% over 2011-2016), despite stagnant labour productivity.
You have no recently viewed reports.
Why not browse through our Featured or Trending Reports to see what we have to offer?
Chicago's economic strength relies on its highly qualified jobs in business services, as well as its well-developed infrastructure and research facilities. This helped Chicago achieve a labour productivity premium of 11% over the rest of the country in 2016. However, productivity in the city (USD131,000 GVA per employee in 2016) lags behind more dynamic metropolises, such as San Francisco, New York (USD161,000 each in the same year) and Boston (USD152,000).
The labour force participation rate in Chicago surpassed the country's average as well in 2016, 78% of Chicago's population aged 15-64 years were employed or actively seeking work, versus 74% elsewhere in the country. This came on the top of superior labour productivity, resulting in robust disposable income that on a per household basis was 16% greater in Chicago compared to other parts in the US, in 2016.
Consumer expenditure per household (excluding housing and transport) in Chicago exceeded the rest of the country's average by 13% in 2016. Proportionally, higher spending by Chicago's households is to a large extent channelled into education (39% more than elsewhere in the US) while in absolute terms, Chicago's households paid the highest premium for health goods and services (USD1,700 per household more than elsewhere in the US).
In contrast, average household consumer expenditure on housing and transport in the city was only 8.2% greater than in other parts of the US. Both housing and transport were moderately more expensive than elsewhere in the US: by 7.9% and 8.8%, respectively, in 2016. The motorisation rate is 25% above the US average, though the city does have a well-developed public transport system.