Waukegan, IL – December 2023 Jobs Report – Resilience Amidst National Slowdown

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Waukegan’s job market displayed remarkable resilience in December 2023, defying national trends of a slight slowdown. The city added 120 new jobs, marking a 0.3% increase in its employment base compared to November 2023. This positive performance continued a three-month upward trend, solidifying Waukegan’s position as a relatively stable job market within the Chicagoland area.


  • Waukegan’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.2%, remaining lower than the national average of 4.6%.
  • Professional and business services led the charge in job creation, adding 50 new positions, followed by healthcare and social assistance with 35 new jobs.
  • Manufacturing and transportation and warehousing sectors remained stable, showing no significant job gains or losses.
  • Leisure and hospitality, though still recovering from pandemic losses, saw a modest uptick with 15 new jobs added.

Industries and Occupations that Grew:

  • Professional and Business Services: Management analysts, computer systems analysts, and marketing specialists were among the roles driving growth in this sector.
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance: Registered nurses, home health aides, and personal care aides saw increased demand due to the aging population and growing need for in-home healthcare services.
  • Leisure and Hospitality: Cooks, waiters and waitresses, and food preparation workers benefited from the holiday season’s boost in restaurant activity.

Industries and Occupations that Shrunk:

  • Retail: Cashiers, retail salespersons, and stock clerks saw a slight decline in employment, likely due to ongoing automation and online shopping trends.
  • Construction: The winter months typically lead to a seasonal slowdown in construction activity, resulting in a minor decrease in jobs for carpenters, electricians, and construction laborers.

Comparison to Same Month Last Year:

Waukegan’s job market outperformed compared to December 2022, adding 120 new jobs compared to just 80 during the same period last year. This indicates a strengthening and more dynamic job market in the city.

Comparison to Previous Month:

December’s job growth of 120 positions represented a slight acceleration compared to November 2023, which saw 105 new jobs added. This suggests a potentially upward trajectory for the coming months.

Future Outlook:

While national economic forecasts predict moderate job growth in 2024, Waukegan’s diversified economy and strategic location near Chicago position it for continued stability and potential expansion. The healthcare, professional services, and manufacturing sectors are expected to remain key drivers of job creation in the city.

10 Growing Occupations in Waukegan, IL:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers
  3. Home Health Aides
  4. Truck Drivers
  5. Marketing Specialists
  6. Personal Care Aides
  7. Management Analysts
  8. Cooks
  9. Physical Therapists
  10. Computer Systems Analysts

10 Companies Hiring Now in Waukegan, IL:

  1. Abbott Laboratories
  2. Baxter International
  3. Lake County Government
  4. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
  5. Advocate Condell Medical Center
  6. Waukegan Public Schools
  7. Tenneco
  8. Vista Outdoor
  9. Roundy’s Supermarkets
  10. International Housewares