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Economy

GO TO 2040 addresses the diverse factors that shape our region's business environment. It includes recommendations on industry clusters, innovation, workforce, and tax policy.  CMAP's work plan addresses these and other economic issues:

Economy Updates

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October 16, 2014

Over two dozen new projects added to CMAP LTA program

Twenty-five new projects led by local governments and nonprofits will receive CMAP staff assistance or grants to drive implementation of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan. Read More About Over two dozen new projects added to CMAP LTA program
October 9, 2014

GO TO 2040 updated in accordance with federal law

Please visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/2040 for all GO TO 2040 plan materials. Read More About GO TO 2040 updated in accordance with federal law
August 14, 2014

Alternative Unemployment Measures Help Contextualize the Economic Downturn

CMAP's regional economic indicators microsite features key measures of metropolitan Chicago's economy and, where applicable, compares these measures to peer metropolitan areas.  The... Read More About Alternative Unemployment Measures Help Contextualize the Economic Downturn
July 31, 2014

Local Government Consolidation Efforts in Northeastern Illinois

Evanston and River Forest Townships have explored ways to consolidate operations with their surrounding municipalities. Read More About Local Government Consolidation Efforts in Northeastern Illinois
July 28, 2014

Indicators Shed Light on Chicago Region’s Innovation Economy

On July 28, CMAP released data and analysis on innovation indicators -- venture capital activity, private-sector R&D employment, technology transfer, and patent production. Read More About Indicators Shed Light on Chicago Region’s Innovation Economy
July 22, 2014

White House Announces Build America Investment Initiative

The initiative will focus on innovative financing via collaboration between the private sector and state and local governments on public-private partnerships. Read More About White House Announces Build America Investment Initiative
July 22, 2014

Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library

Completed Local Technical Assistance projects and GO TO 2040-related work are highlighted in a new interactive map. Read More About Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library
July 21, 2014

Clusters Indicators Highlight Importance of Freight, Manufacturing in Region

On July 21, CMAP released data and analysis on clusters indicators – intermodal lifts, manufacturing and freight cluster employment and industry location quotients, and manufacturing exports. Read More About Clusters Indicators Highlight Importance of Freight, Manufacturing in Region
July 16, 2014

New Report Describes Oregon Experience with Road Usage Fees

In 2013 Oregon enacted the nation's first road usage fee, following the completion of a pilot program. Read More About New Report Describes Oregon Experience with Road Usage Fees
July 15, 2014

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity releases new strategic plan

The plan outlines seven initiatives, including the promotion of economic development at the regional level. Read More About Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity releases new strategic plan
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Metropolitan Chicago is one of the nation's few truly global centers. With a gross regional product of over $500 billion a year, the region's dynamic economy ranks third largest in the United States. Indeed, metropolitan Chicago's economic output not only outperforms other regions, it also surpasses that of many nations: if our region were counted as its own country, it would have the 20th largest economy in the world.

Yet in today's evolving global economy we cannot take this economic vibrancy for granted. As a global region, metropolitan Chicago competes not only against domestic centers but with markets around the world. Trends over the last ten years show the region's historic productivity advantage over the rest of the nation and globe has narrowed, as the region must respond to stark new economic realities.

To maintain and enhance metropolitan Chicago's position as a global economic hub GO TO 2040 lays out a vision that leverages our strongest assets as a blueprint for sustainable economic growth. The residents of northeastern Illinois are foremost among these assets, serving as the region's greatest renewable resource. The Chicago region has a deep pool of talented workers, yet we need to ensure our education and workforce development systems train not for the jobs of yesterday, but for those of tomorrow. On the workforce page of the economy section CMAP presents key indicators following GO TO 2040's emphasis on an educated and skilled labor force, paying particular attention to how skills are changing in an evolving economy.

The region's skilled workforce grants metropolitan Chicago an extremely high quality of life. By fostering economic innovation metropolitan Chicago can remain competitive while preserving its high standards of living. Innovation is the development and commercialization of new technologies that area faster, cheaper, and better than what came before. In the innovation page of the economy section CMAP tracks the region's progress transforming new ideas into concrete, marketable products.

While metropolitan Chicago enjoys a diverse mix of industries across almost every sector, it also realizes significant gains through its economic specializations. These industry clusters leverage local advantages, create quality jobs, spur innovation, and position the region to compete in the global economy. The clusters page of the economy section reports important trends in the freight and manufacturing clusters, two of metropolitan Chicago's strongest specializations.

Finally, the tax policy page of the economy section looks at current state and local tax policies compared to the vision articulated in GO TO 2040. While the private sector drives economic growth, this page explores how efficient governance and policy can provide a supportive climate conducive to investment and growth.

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