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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 Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, examines those signs on his Midwest Economy blog, including how the City's growth in educated, mostly young, working adults population has also diversified Chicago's job orientation from manufacturing to other sectors such as health care, finance, education, and business.

A well-educated, highly skilled workforce may be the most important ingredient to strengthen the economy and ensure a high quality of life in metropolitan Chicago. A skilled labor force does not develop on its own; strategic investments in education and workforce development, as well as alignment of these systems to the needs of employers, are needed. Therefore, GO TO 2040 recommends that the region's education and workforce development systems be improved to continue supporting a high-quality labor force.