Employment in STEM Occupations
This indicator tracks employment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in the seven-county Chicago region. The demands of many professions are becoming increasingly complex as technology drives innovation and growth in today's economy. Workers employed in STEM occupations play a significant role in fostering new ideas that lead to economic growth. Yet, growth in STEM occupations in the Chicago region has lagged behind STEM growth in peer regions.
The Chicago region experienced a 0.12 percentage point increase in the share of STEM occupations between 2010 and 2017. Despite the Chicago region’s diverse industry mix and exceptional education and research institutions, regional STEM employment closely mirrors that of the U.S. overall. In 2017, 12.5 percent of workers in the Chicago region filled positions in STEM occupations, compared with 12.7 percent nationwide. However, regional STEM employment lags behind other peer metropolitan areas, such as Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. Over the past seven years, the share of STEM employment in the Chicago region grew by an average of 0.017 percentage points annually. Targets are based on the goal to double the region’s annual growth rate to 0.034 percentage points per year through 2025, and then to maintain robust STEM activity by matching the U.S. annual growth rate of 0.024 percentage points per year.
2025: 12.8 percent or more of region’s jobs in STEM occupations
2050: 13.4 percent or more of region’s jobs in STEM occupations