Chicago, IL – December 2023 Jobs Report – Windy City Sees Mixed Signals Despite Job Gains

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Overview: The December 2023 jobs report for Chicago presents a complex picture. While there was an overall increase in employment, some industries experienced holiday-related dips, highlighting a mixed outlook for the job market. The unemployment rate remained low, offering a positive note for 2024.


  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%, remaining steady and below the national average.
  • Job gains: Government, Health Care & Social Assistance, Leisure & Hospitality, Trade, Transportation & Utilities, and Professional & Business Services sectors added jobs in December.
  • Year-over-year growth: Positive employment growth compared to December 2022 in most industries.

Industries and Occupations that Grew:

  • Government: Public sector employment, particularly in education and healthcare, saw job gains.
  • Trade, Transportation & Utilities: Increased holiday shopping activity likely contributed to job growth in retail and logistics.
  • Professional & Business Services: This broad sector includes legal, accounting, and management services, experiencing job growth in December.

Industries and Occupations that Shrunk:

  • Construction: This industry typically experiences winter slowdowns.
  • Manufacturing: Job losses in this sector were relatively small.
  • Other Services: This includes personal care and laundry services, which may have seen reduced demand during the holidays.

Comparison to Same Month Last Year:

  • Overall employment: Up 0.9% compared to December 2022.
  • Unemployment rate: Down from 4.2% in December 2022.

Comparison to Previous Month:

  • Overall employment: Up 0.3% from November 2023.
  • Unemployment rate: Down from 3.9% in November 2023.

Future Outlook:

The Chicago job market shows potential for continued growth in 2024, with opportunities in diverse sectors. Here are 10 occupations projected for significant growth:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts
  3. Home Health Aides
  4. Personal Care Aides
  5. Truck Drivers
  6. Marketing Specialists
  7. Customer Service Representatives
  8. Sales Representatives
  9. Physicians and Surgeons
  10. Wind Turbine Service Technicians

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Advocate Aurora Health
  2. United Airlines
  3. Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  4. Deloitte
  5. Accenture
  6. Boeing
  7. McDonald’s Corporation
  8. JPMorgan Chase
  9. Kraft Heinz
  10. AbbVie