Chicago at a Glance
Working in Chicago123RF
Many tall skyscrapers feature in the skyline of Chicago’s Central Business District.
Historically speaking, Chicago has always been economically strong. However, the weight of the economic strength lay in a different field. While in the second half of the 1800s, the Chicago stockyards were common knowledge to all Americans, the meatpacking industry in Chicago and its agricultural cohorts have made way for newer and more innovative industries.
Working in Chicago: An Economic Powerhouse
Many of you may know that those working in Chicago contribute to one of the world’s top 10 global financial centers. In fact, people working in Chicago are proud to be part of this “alpha + world city”. In 2012 there were an estimated 3.8 million people working in Chicago, producing a regional gross product of US$ $532.3 billion. With 29 Fortune 500 companies located in the metro area alone, Chicago has grown to become a major financial contributor to the United States and the world.
With Chicago’s key industries being business & financial services, manufacturing, IT, health services and transportation and distribution, there should be a niche for everyone interested in working in one of Chicago’s 260,000 businesses.
Working in Chicago: Business Climate
Thanks to the city’s great infrastructure and general layout, most employees working in Chicago have a generally laidback attitude towards work. Lunch breaks are often spent sitting in one of the many parks, enjoying a deli sandwich and discussing the morning’s affairs.
The city’s reputation as a transportation hub does not go unnoticed either – to the delight of foreigners working in Chicago. With its two major airports, train system, and easily accessible road system, expats can get in and out of Chicago at will anytime.
Additionally, Chicago is one of the largest trading points worldwide, the east-west juncture joining Asian and European markets as well as the north-south link of NAFTA. This also directly affects the extremely diverse business climate: There are over 30 different ethnic groups with populations larger than 25,000 working in Chicago, and more than 1,500 foreign-owned firms in the Chicago area alone.
Working in Chicago: Job Sectors
Foreign residents working in Chicago should not have any difficulty in finding employment. Like most metropolises around the world, Chicago has many business sectors; however, contrary to some megalopolises, its industries are incredibly diverse.
Nearly a million people currently working in Chicago do so in the Business and Financial sector. Opportunities in accounting, advertising, recruiting, R&D, legal services, managerial services, security services, etc. are available in the Windy City.
Chicago is also a leader in the manufacturing industry with nearly 10% of the people working in Chicago contributing to this sector. The InfoTech branch is also thriving, with jobs available in communications manufacturing, wired telecommunications, technical consulting services, and other such information industries.
The health industry in metro Chicago is fueled by its six medical schools and more than 20 teaching hospitals. Therefore expats considering working in Chicago’s health sector would be joining the ranks of the 500,000 and upwards employees.
The North American transportation and distribution scene has been dominated by Chicago since the 1850s. Due to its location within the US, Chicago is one of the major crossroads of the nation’s global trade. Therefore, those working in Chicago are at the heart of the most competitive and lucrative transportation system in the Americas.