Rockford, IL – January 2024 Job Market Report – Hiring Spree Continues

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Rockford’s job market remained strong in January 2024, continuing the positive trend observed in the latter half of 2023. The unemployment rate dipped slightly to 3.8%, indicating a tight labor market with employers struggling to fill open positions.


  • The unemployment rate fell from 3.9% in December 2023 to 3.8% in January 2024.
  • Job growth was concentrated in the professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and healthcare sectors.
  • Manufacturing, a mainstay of the Rockford economy, saw continued job losses.

What Industries and Occupations Grew

  • Professional and business services: This sector added 520 jobs in January, driven by growth in occupations like accountants, auditors, and management analysts.
  • Leisure and hospitality: Employment in this sector increased by 410 jobs, with gains concentrated in food service and accommodation establishments.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare added 380 jobs, primarily in ambulatory healthcare services and hospitals.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank

  • Manufacturing: The manufacturing sector shed 270 jobs in January, continuing a downward trend that began in 2022.
  • Retail trade: Employment in retail trade declined by 110 jobs, with losses concentrated in clothing and clothing accessories stores.

Compare to Same Month Last Year

  • Compared to January 2023, the Rockford job market has added 2,100 jobs, reflecting a growth rate of 2.6%.
  • The unemployment rate has decreased by 0.7 percentage points over the year.

Compare to Previous Month

  • The unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points from December 2023.
  • Job growth slowed down slightly compared to December 2023, when the economy added 1,020 jobs.

Future Outlook

The future outlook for the Rockford job market is cautiously optimistic. The tight labor market is expected to persist in the near term, putting upward pressure on wages and benefits. However, concerns remain about the potential for a national economic slowdown, which could dampen job growth in Rockford.

10 Growing Occupations in Rockford, IL

  1. Registered nurses
  2. Home health aides and personal care aides
  3. Software developers, applications
  4. Medical assistants
  5. Wind turbine service technicians
  6. Solar photovoltaic installers
  7. Occupational therapists
  8. Physical therapists
  9. Marketing managers
  10. Financial analysts

10 Companies Hiring Now in Rockford, IL

  1. Crusader Community Health
  2. OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center
  3. BMO Harris Bank
  4. SwedishAmerican Health System
  5. City of Rockford, Illinois
  6. Chrysler
  7. Woodward Governor Company
  8. Amazon
  9. Loves Travel Stops & Country Stores
  10. Home Depot