Regional Economic Indicators

Regional Economic Indicators

Metropolitan Chicago is one of the world's great economic centers.  The following indicators track key trends in the region and provide insight into the health of our economy.  

The Trends indicators track our economy's growth and prosperity. (Data updated May 2018.)


The Workforce indicators gauge whether metropolitan Chicago's workforce is prepared for tomorrow's economy. (Data updated November 2018.)


The Clusters indicators explore how our infrastructure and industrial assets are being leveraged. (Data updated February 2018.)


The Innovation indicators demonstrate how new ideas are being sparked to attract investment. (Data updated November 2018.)

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December 06, 2018

Labor force recovery has varied by race, ethnicity, with starkest differences for blacks

Although the Chicago region has made strides since the 2007-09 recession, recovery has been slow and lagging behind many peer metropolitan regions.  The economic downturn created significant econom...

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March 05, 2019

The benefits of adding more services to Illinois' sales tax base

This analysis is one of a series examining transportation funding in northeastern Illinois and explaining the revenue recommendations included in ON TO 2050.

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August 01, 2019

Chicago region attracting—but not retaining—working age adults

A well-educated and talented resident pool provides the workforce needed to keep the economy thriving. As highlighted in a prior analysis, when the economy is healthy, residents are more likely to ...

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December 04, 2014

December 4, 2014

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January 29, 2014

Sales Tax Rebate Database Analysis Highlights Prevalence of Rebate Agreements in Metropolitan Chicago

  Download the PDF . The structure and duration of sales tax rebate agreements greatly influence the level of public funds local governments use to attract and retain businesses and ...

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November 07, 2014

Cook County property tax classification effects on property tax burden

The use of property tax classification in Cook County makes it difficult to encourage and strengthen non-residential development in existing communities.

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May 11, 2016

Sales tax rebates remain prevalent in northeastern Illinois

  Download PDF now.   In Illinois, municipalities and counties receive sales tax revenue based on the location of sales.  This structure has resulted in the rise of an ...

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November 28, 2017

Property tax burden in the Chicago region

Nov 28, 2017 Property tax burden in the Chicago region Download the PDF . ...

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February 15, 2018

White House Releases Infrastructure Proposal and FY 2019 Budget

Feb 15, 2018 White House Releases Infrastructure Proposal and FY 2019 Budget On...

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December 15, 2010

Dusting Off the Income/Property Tax Swap Debate

Illinois continues to face a $14 billion (and growing) budget deficit, and following the November elections, new revenue enhancing strategies are being proposed by lawmakers to address both the de...

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January 03, 2011

Other Voices on the Property Tax System

A recent Policy Update examined the issues surrounding an income/property tax swap . On December 20, 2010, the Civic Federation released a position paper on Cook County's property tax system th...

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January 21, 2011

The Many Benefits of Supporting Regional Industry Clusters

The Brookings Institution recently released a new report on the benefits of supporting regional industry clusters. The report, by Mark Muro and Kenan Fikri, discusses how industry clusters can "...

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February 11, 2011

Linking Transportation Investment with Economic Growth

On January 21, 2011, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released a report, " Strengthening Connections Between Transportation Investments and Economic Growth ." It is a product of the BPC's Natio...

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February 24, 2011

Regression Analysis of Property Tax Assessments

A recent feature in Land Lines , a quarterly magazine from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy , contrasts tax policies in the City of Chicago and DuPage County. Authored by the institute's v...

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March 08, 2011

Redevelopment to Link Transit and Jobs

One of the GO TO 2040 plan's primary goals is for the region to redevelop more than 100,000 acres of currently vacant or under-used land, which is ripe for a mix of residential and commercial us...

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April 15, 2011

International Economic Analysis Will Build on GO TO 2040

To compete with other global economic centers, the region and its communities must build on and protect our many assets by planning collaboratively and comprehensively. GO TO 2040 's comprehensiv...

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May 16, 2011

U.S. Mayors Want More Funding Directed to Metropolitan Regions

While the geography of metropolitan life best reflects economic life, most federal investment decisions are made usually the delivery systems of states, which sometimes have a powerful incentive t...

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May 24, 2011

Federal "Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge" Announced

On Friday, May 20, the Economic Development Administration (EDA, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce), the Employment Training Administration (ETA, part of the U.S. Department of Labor), and t...

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June 09, 2011

Programs of Study Working to Transform Education in Illinois

The State of Illinois plans to transform education by coordinating programs related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at all stages, from pre-school through adult. In 201...

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July 14, 2011

Chicago's Population Declines, Economic Core Strengthens

While Chicago's population declined over the past four decades, there are also signs that the City's economic core strengthened. Bill Testa, vice president and director of regional research at the...

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