Last week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest monthly jobs report, which shows a strong, steady labor market nationally. Regional economic growth depends on a skilled workforce and the capacity to transform new ideas into greater productivity and competitiveness. New data released today in the Workforce and Innovation sections of CMAP’s Regional Economic Indicators microsite demonstrate the continued importance of the region’s innovative talent in driving economic prosperity.
In 2017, nearly half of metropolitan Chicago's residents age 25 or older (46.1 percent) had an Associate degree or higher, including nearly 2.3 million residents with a Bachelor's degree. Based on its deep human capital, the region secured more than $1.9 billion in venture capital funding in 2017. While these indicators show growth over the previous year, available data also suggest metropolitan Chicago lags behind peers in terms of job growth, research, and entrepreneurial activity.
The ON TO 2050 comprehensive plan seeks to help our region adapt in a changing global economy. Innovation necessarily begins with strong investments in human capital, which will always be the region’s source of next-generation ideas and its strongest competitive advantage. Emerging opportunities and challenges increasingly require deliberate steps in workforce and economic development to capitalize on our distinctive assets. ON TO 2050 encourages regional and local partners to collaborate in improving education, skills acquisition, and innovation opportunities for all residents. Such strategies can support dense, dynamic economic activity and can fuel longer, more inclusive economic growth.