Letter to the Rockford Region – March 2017

Rockford Region Job Growth Moving Forward

RAEDC Job GrowthThe Rockford Area Economic Development Council’s (RAEDC) current strategic plan Rockforward20/20 began in January 2016. The goals from the strategic plan track and report on key regional economic indicators, including Capital Investment, Square Feet of New or Renovated Commercial and Industrial Space, and New and Retained Jobs.

In an effort to provide the most accurate figures to the public, the RAEDC is transitioning how it reports job numbers to coincide with the Illinois Department of Labor Security (IDES) reported monthly data.

Going forward therefore, the RAEDC will be using job figures provided by the IDES to report on job growth in the Rockford Region. This will take effect in the reporting of January 2017 job creation numbers and be included in the RAEDC Monthly Newsletter as well as on RockfordIL.com.

The change will ensure any new or created job will be accounted for and ensure consistency when reporting these figures. Nathan Bryant, president and CEO of the RAEDC frequently refers to sticky jobs, also known as primary jobs, as the type of employment opportunities that are especially beneficial for the Rockford Region.

Primary jobs are defined by the RAEDC as jobs that feed other jobs and that increase the “buying power” of the citizens; generally attributed to higher wages with benefits, with clear lines for advancement, and require education, training, and/or skilled trades. These types of jobs are more difficult to move out of an area and are less likely to be affected by things such as artificial intelligence, redundancy, or other aspects of business that make them vulnerable to movement overseas.

The RAEDC, working with a team of investors and community leaders that have a shared vision of marketing the positive aspects of the Rockford Region, serves as the region’s sales force to bring new business to the region and cultivates opportunities for primary job growth that increase the economic well-being of our region. Accurately reporting on the key economic indicators for the region demonstrates some of the positive activities happening within the region and continues the momentum towards achieving Top 25 status.