World Business Chicago tracks indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including employment in major sectors, residential and office real estate data, price and purchasing indexes, freight demand, and auto and truck sales. Note: employment data refers to payroll job estimates for the city of Chicago and is not adjusted for seasonality.

Key trends evident this month include:

  • The Chicago (city) economy has expanded by an estimated 8,233 private-sector jobs since November 2013, mostly attributed to professional and business services (+4,289) and education and health services (+3,263). The construction sector posted the fastest YOY growth rate, 5.5%, or a growth of nearly 1,500 jobs.
  • New hires in the Midwest increased to 1.23 million (seasonally adjusted); the highest volume since 2001.
  • Venture capital investment is up 74% over last year, led by Avant Credit’s $225M deal, one of the largest venture rounds ever for a Chicago startup.
  • New residential building permits in the city increased to 4,990 units year-to-date in November, a nearly 80% improvement compared to the same time period in 2013.
  • Two consumer sentiment indexes reported 10+ percentage point gains over last year.
  • Air cargo volume for O’Hare and Midway Airports posted a 11.6% YOY change.
  • Hotel occupancy and ADR reported respective increases of 3.6 percentage points and 15.5% over November 2013. Choose Chicago reports that close to 3,000 new rooms are expected to open in the next few years, including Nobu Hotel (155 rooms, early 2016) and Marriott Marquis McCormick Place (1,200 rooms, Summer 2017).

These and other trends are illustrated in this month’s Chicago By The Numbers.

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