Waukegan, IL – January 2024 Jobs Report – Bouncing Back, But Challenges Remain

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The Waukegan job market started 2024 cautiously optimistic, experiencing some job growth after a challenging previous year. While the January report shows a slower pace compared to national averages, it suggests a potential for stability and gradual improvement in the year ahead.


  • Job growth: Waukegan added 0.3% new jobs compared to December 2023, translating to roughly 60 positions.
  • Strongest sector: Professional & Business Services (+0.8%) led the job gains, reflecting the ongoing importance of this sector in the local economy.
  • Manufacturing shows signs of life: The Manufacturing sector saw a welcome 0.4% increase, potentially indicating a rebound after previous declines.

Industries and Occupations on the Rise:

  • Professional & Business Services: Management Analysts, Marketing Specialists, and Computer Systems Analysts experienced job growth, reflecting the expanding service sector in Waukegan.
  • Manufacturing: Production Workers and Assemblers saw job increases, suggesting a potential revival in the manufacturing sector, particularly in areas like food processing and machinery.

Industries and Occupations Facing Challenges:

  • Retail Trade: This sector witnessed a slight decline (-0.2%), potentially due to seasonal adjustments and continued online shopping trends.
  • Information: The Information sector saw a minor decrease (-0.1%), primarily due to national trends and automation in certain areas.

Year-over-Year Comparison:

Compared to January 2023, the Waukegan job market has seen minimal growth (0.2%), adding approximately 40 new jobs. This indicates a slow recovery compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Month-over-Month Comparison:

While job growth remains below national averages, the January report shows a positive trend compared to December 2023. This suggests a potential for gradual improvement in the Waukegan job market.

Future Outlook:

The Waukegan job market is expected to see continued, albeit slow, growth in 2024, with key areas of expansion including:

  • Professional & Business Services: The demand for skilled professionals in management, marketing, and IT is expected to remain strong.
  • Healthcare: The aging population and increasing healthcare needs will continue to create opportunities in this sector, particularly for nurses, therapists, and home healthcare workers.
  • Manufacturing: Continued investment and innovation in the manufacturing sector could lead to further job growth in targeted areas.

Top 10 Growing Occupations in Waukegan, IL (January 2024):

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Management Analysts
  3. Marketing Specialists
  4. Production Workers
  5. Software Developers 
  6. Physician Assistants
  7. Computer Systems Analysts
  8. Customer Service Representatives
  9. Sales Representatives
  10. Home Health Aides

Top 10 Companies Hiring Now in Waukegan, IL (February 2024):

  1. AbbVie
  2. Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  3. Abbott Laboratories
  4. NorthShore University HealthSystem
  5. Lake County Government
  6. Amazon
  7. Walmart
  8. Home Depot
  9. Lowe’s
  10. FedEx