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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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April 26, 2016  

Commute trends of CMAP region freight and manufacturing workers

Metropolitan Chicago's workforce is one of the most important factors in a strong regional economy.  An integral element -- regional workforce mobility, measured in this Policy Update by... Read More About Commute trends of CMAP region freight and manufacturing workers
March 29, 2016  

Export growth in our region’s manufacturing industries

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 Export growth in our region’s manufacturing industries
March 9, 2016  

ON TO 2050 launch event recap

CMAP was delighted to welcome several hundred residents, non-profit organizations, units of local government, private employers, and other stakeholders on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, to kick off... Read More About ON TO 2050 launch event recap
March 3, 2016  

WTTW previews launch of ON TO 2050 plan development

On February 23, 2016, WTTW's Geoffrey Baer explained the importance ON TO 2050, the new regional comprehensive plan process for metro Chicago. Read More About WTTW previews launch of ON TO 2050 plan development
February 23, 2016  

ON TO 2050 open house POSTPONED to March 2

With great regret, we must postpone tomorrow's ON TO 2050 launch event. The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts are trending toward a more major storm than predicted earlier today. Our... Read More About ON TO 2050 open house POSTPONED to March 2
January 29, 2016  

Governor releases draft state 2016-20 workforce development plan

This week, Governor Rauner's office released a draft five-year workforce development plan for the State of Illinois.  The plan fulfills new federal requirements established by the ... Read More About Governor releases draft state 2016-20 workforce development plan
January 14, 2016  

CMAP Next Plan Launch Event, 2-24-16

Please join us to launch the development of an entirely new regional comprehensive plan, building on the GO TO 2040 plan that was adopted in October 2010. Read More About CMAP Next Plan Launch Event, 2-24-16
December 17, 2015  

Changes in household income in northeastern Illinois

On December 3, 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2010-2014   American Community Survey   (ACS) 5-year estimates.  The ACS collects information such as ancestry,... Read More About Changes in household income in northeastern Illinois
November 6, 2015  

Linking the Chicago region’s research assets

This Policy Update describes a recently developed tool that enables economic developers and other industry professionals to better understand and access the region’s research assets. Read More About Linking the Chicago region’s research assets
October 23, 2015  

Impacts of national industrial development trends on the Chicago region

This Policy Update looks at how national trends influence industrial development patterns in the CMAP region and examines several factors driving these trends. Read More About Impacts of national industrial development trends on the Chicago region
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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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