Letters to the Rockford Region – May 2016

Mike 8748re 4x6Dear Rockford Region,

The Job Market in the Rockford Region continues its upward trend.

In each month over the past three years, the number of people employed in the region has shown steady improvement as compared to the prior year.

At the end of March 2016 (the latest reporting period), 3,333 more people were employed in the Rockford Region than were employed at the end of March 2015. Over the past 12 months, the area has experienced the second highest job growth rate in the State of Illinois.

Some other points to consider:

  • Our local companies such as Modern Forge, PCI, and ConAgra Foods are moving jobs to the region from other parts of the Midwest.
  • Woodward continues to hire as it ramps up to meet increased demand.
  • Baby Boomers will retire at an increasing rate in the next 5-10 years creating more job openings.
  • AAR will take possession of their new facility this summer and begin staffing this world class operation.
  • Construction projects in the region’s healthcare sector alone will provide 1,500 to 2,000 jobs for skilled trades people over the next several years.
  • Area employers advertised 5,100 positions in March and approximately 87% of these positions were for full time jobs. This number understates the actual demand as some industries such as construction do not typically advertise to fill open positions.

Our challenge is not creating jobs for people. Our challenge is finding enough people to fill the jobs which exist.

Until next month,

Michael Nicholas, President
Rockford Area Economic Development Council