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What are the biggest industries in Chicago?

Asked by Trulia Chicago, Chicago, IL Fri Apr 19, 2013

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Thomas Kossnar’s answer
Perhaps Chicago's biggest business attribute is the fact that we are incredibly diversified with many types of industries. Manufacturing is still big, though not as big as before. More Tech companies are in Chicago. Of course tourism, insurance is big. Chicago is the home of the World's largest commodities exchange. I can go on and on and on. By being so diversified, we are insulated from disaster, say a Florida, where they rely primarily on just tourism.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 19, 2013
Chicago By The Numbers, December 2012 | World Business ...
http://www.worldbusinesschicago.com/.../chicago-numbers-december-20… 21, 2012 – Chicago By The Numbers, December 2012 ... services (+23,800), manufacturing (+13,000), and leisure and hospitality (+10,700) industries.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 19, 2013
tourism tourism tourism tourism
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 19, 2013
What are the biggest industries in Chicago? This questions was asked by Trulia Chicago.
Chicago’s economy is more diverse the many people will imagine. Some people may want to believe that Chicago’s largest industry is tourism which is not the case. Chicago’s economy is driven by a variety of businesses from long standing manufacturing and transportation/distribution to newly emerging information and technology, research and development and green energy industries. It should be no surprise that green energy development is a growing industry in our city with Obama as our president.

The largest regional employers in Chicago: Advocate Health Care, Walgreens, AT&T, United Continental Holdings Inc., Abbott Laboratories, J.P. Morgan Chase, Motorola Inc., Allstate Corp., Jewel-Osco, and Resurrection Health Care. Chicagoland ranks in the Top 5 in output among U.S. metro areas in a number of key industries; Business & Financial Services, Manufacturing, Health Services, Transportation & Distribution, and Tourism.
Business & Financial Services

Chicago offers has diverse pools of business and financial service expertise:

• Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping & payroll services
• Advertising
• Recruiting
• Legal services
• Management services
• Security services
• Research and development
• Specialized design


Chicago is consistently a leader in manufacturing, which currently composes more than 10% of the regional economy. The Chicago region's manufacturing base continues to change with the economy, recently adding jobs in wind energy, green building materials, and hi-tech products.


Chicago and its greater metropolitan area provide life science and biotech entrepreneurs with a tremendous balance of capital, community and global fluency. Area companies are at the forefront of developments in diagnostics, therapeutics, medical equipment, and food and environmental biotechnologies, as well as enabling technologies such as bioinformatics, genomics and proteomics.

Information and technology

Chicago’s tech ecosystem is growing as a number of components converge
• Internet publishing & broadcasting
• Wired telecommunications carriers
• Data processing, hosting & related services
• Securities & commodity contracts brokerage and exchanges
• Technical consulting services
• Scientific research and development services


• 500,000+ employed in healthcare and life science occupations
• 20+ teaching hospitals
• 6 medical schools

Transportation & Distribution

Chicago has dominated the North American transportation and distribution business. It has become the major crossroads of America's global trade. As a result, Chicago offers the most competitive and cost-effective transportation center
• Central location with air, rail, and water distribution capacity
• Only gateway where all six Class-One North American railroads can interchange traffic
• Top 5 Container Port in the World, handling over 13 million TEU's
• Convergence of six major highways
• Chicago’s airport system ships and receives 1.5 million tons of freight, mail, and goods annually
• Non-stop global gateway to more than 50 international and 150 domestic business centers
• Two ports capable of handling ocean-going ships and barges
• Linked to the Atlantic via St. Lawrence Seaway and to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River


Chicago welcomed 42.4 million domestic visitors in 2011, an 11.2 percent increase over 2010 and the first visitor increase the city has seen since 2008.

The diverse business sector Chicago keeps the economy going even in the climate of this economic downturn. Chicago will recognize even faster growth in our diverse industries as housing sector gains strength and consumer confidence in our region grows. While tourism plays an important role in the strength of our economy it only accounts for a fraction of Chicago’s productivity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
Tourism, Chicago Style Hot Dogs, Cubs, lol.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 19, 2013
4 of the top 5 employers in Cook County are:

City of Chicago
Chicago Public Schools
State of Illinois
Cook County
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 19, 2013
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