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.
An Economic Powerhouse
While Chicago may have in recent years fallen down a bit in the ranks in the Global Financial Centres Index, it has only narrowly missed the top 10 and landed on rank 11th in 2013, proving that the city continues to be of national and international importance. The approximately 4.3 million people working in the greater Chicago area produce an annual regional gross product of more than US$ 530 billion. With 32 Fortune 500 companies located in its metropolitan area, Chicago has grown to become a major financial contributor to the United States and the world.
With Chicago’s key industries being business and financial services, manufacturing, IT, health services and transportation and distribution, there should be a niche for everyone interested in working for one of Chicago’s numerous businesses.
Business Climate in Chicago
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: 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 the North American Free Trade Agreement. This also directly affects the extremely diverse business climate: There is an abundance of different ethnic groups living and working in Chicago, and more than 1,500 foreign-owned firms in the Chicago area alone.
Foreign residents 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.
Over 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, et cetera are available in the Windy City.
Chicago is also a leader in the manufacturing industry with more than 400,000 workers in this sector. The InfoTech branch is 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 520,000 and upwards employees.
The North American transportation and distribution scene has been dominated by Chicago since the 1850s. Due to its location within the U.S., Chicago is one of the major crossroads of the nation’s global trade. Therefore, those working in Chicago are at the heart of one of the most competitive and lucrative transportation system in the Americas.