Regional Economic Clusters and Trends

Understanding our region helps us to leverage existing assets.

Metropolitan Chicago is one of the nation's few global economic centers. The region's recovery from the last recession, however, has been markedly slower than recoveries in the nation's other large, mature metropolitan economies. The first ON TO 2050 snapshot report, Regional Economy and Clusters: Building on our strengths, provides a data-focused update on where our region's economy stands today, how it is performing in relation to its peers, and why our regional industry clusters matter.

Regional Economy and Clusters: Building our strengths

Economic Clusters

Economic Clusters 2

Applying recent national research, this report explores the region's industry clusters — groups of interdependent firms that are linked through buyer-supplier relationships, share common resources and technologies, depend on similar labor pools and institutions, and draw a productive advantage from being geographically located near one another. The analysis aids our understanding of how the region can enhance its competitiveness, identify evolving workforce needs, and address technological shifts.

ON TO 2050 will help the Chicago region's economy compete better nationally and globally.

In the long term, economic prosperity depends on resilience in the face of changing circumstances. ON TO 2050 will provide an in-depth look at metropolitan Chicago's economic specializations and establish a variety of indicators to further our understanding of regional productivity, workforce, and innovation. Data will allow regional stakeholders across public and private sectors to analyze factors of economic growth. Tracking regional economic trends such as gross regional product, industry exports, median household income, total jobs, unemployment, and educational attainment, will provide insight into the region's ability to retain and attract good jobs and skilled workers.

ON TO 2050 will seek a better understanding of our region's industries and human capital to help communities — and the region as a whole — guide economic development policy and strategy.

This is your plan.

Continual input by stakeholder organizations and individuals was vital to the development and implementation of GO TO 2040. From now through the next plan's adoption in October 2018 and beyond, CMAP will be engaging a broad cross-section of partners from across the region.

Take a moment to fill out the questions below, and for more information on CMAP's public engagement efforts, please visit To share the report with colleagues via your organizational newsletter or social media, take a look at our Partners Toolkit.

Related Documents

Economic Clusters and Trends