Manufacturing Employment Trends

Illinois Metro Areas

July 2020 Update


Illinois' metropolitan areas added 14,600 manufacturing jobs last month and led by Chicago, Elgin and Lake County.

Using Localintel's free and publicly accessible Industry Job Tracker, this report provides 7 observations highlighting changes in manufacturing employment levels for the state's metro areas. At the time of writing, the Tracker draws on the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as released on July 17, 2020.

Observation 1

These 5 Illinois metro areas recorded the steepest increase in manufacturing jobs last month (measured by percentage change in jobs from May 2020):

Rank Metro Area Change Percentage New Jobs
1Bloomington5.9% increase+200 jobs
2Danville4.3% increase+200 jobs
3Kankakee4.3% increase+300 jobs
4Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights4.2% increase+11,100 jobs
5Springfield4.0% increase+100 jobs

Observation 2

These 5 Illinois metro areas experienced the largest gains in manufacturing jobs in June (measured by the change in the number of manufacturing jobs from May 2020):

Metro Area New Jobs
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights+11,100 jobs
Elgin, IL Metropolitan Division+900 jobs
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI+600 jobs
Peoria+400 jobs
Kankakee+300 jobs

Observation 3

Every Illinois metro experienced an increase in manufacturing jobs last month.

Observation 4

The 5 Illinois metro areas with the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs (measured by location quotient) added a combined total of 1,600 manufacturing jobs in June.

Metro Area Location Quotient Change Percentage New Jobs
Decatur2.642.9% increase+300 jobs
Rockford2.370.7% increase+200 jobs
Danville2.104.3% increase+200 jobs
Kankakee1.854.3% increase+300 jobs
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI1.821.0% increase+600 jobs

Observation 5

The state's 5 largest manufacturing cities generated 89% of all new manufacturing jobs in Illinois' metros last month.

Metro Area New Jobs
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights+11,100 jobs
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI+600 jobs
Elgin, IL Metropolitan Division+900 jobs
Rockford+200 jobs
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island+200 jobs

Observation 6

The addition of 14,600 manufacturing jobs to Illinois' metro areas in June suggests the economic recovery has commenced. Tempering this good news is the fact that there are still 29,500 fewer manufacturing jobs in Illinois metros than there were in June 2019.

Observation 7

Here’s how Illinois’s recovery compares with the country’s other leading manufacturing states (measured by percentage change in manufacturing jobs from May 2020):

Metro Area Change % New Jobs
Michigan metros:20.2% increase+76,800 jobs
Indiana metros 3.5% increase+11,000 jobs
Illinois metros:3.2% increase +14,600 jobs
Ohio metros 2.9% increase+14,600 jobs
California metros:2.6% increase+30,100 jobs
Wisconsin metros:1.4% increase+4,400 jobs
Texas metros:0.2% increase+1,600 jobs
Want to know more?

Localintel’s interactive Industry Job Tracker can be accessed at We created the Tracker to help economic developers and policy makers keep an eye on employment change in the nation’s metropolitan areas. The online tool draws on the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and is updated monthly by Localintel.

Data source

Localintel’s Industry Job Tracker presents data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics survey (establishment survey). The establishment survey provides information on employment, hours, and earnings of employees on nonfarm payrolls. BLS collects this data each month from a sample of over 390,000 establishments employing over 47 million nonfarm wage and salary workers, full or part time, who receive pay during the payroll period which includes the 12th of the month. According to the BLS, statistics based on the establishment survey are subject to both sampling and non-sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence. The BLS does not seasonally adjust the industry specific employment data for metro areas. Localintel updates the Industry Job Tracker each month with the latest BLS establishment survey data for metro areas. The Tracker identifies the period to which the data applies and when the last update occurred. More information about the Current Employment Statistics program can be found at Definitions for Metropolitan Areas and how the BLS measures geographic areas can be accessed at   

About Localintel

Localintel makes online economic development tools that hundreds of organizations have added to their website to promote their community’s advantages, assist local businesses and monitor trends. Localintel’s customers range from the small city of Brazoria (population 3,112 people) through to Texas Economic Development Corporation, Washington DC Economic Partnership, Indy Chamber, New Orleans Business Alliance and the cities of Southfield, Royal Oak, Troy and East Lansing.

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