Personal-finance site WalletHub ran the numbers on the job-seeker-friendliness of more than 120 Illinois cities.

Illinois shines in a few key financial areas. We boast the 5th largest state economy by GDP, for one. And while our public sector is hurting, the private sector is accelerating. This year, 37 Illinois companies made the Fortune 500 list and a whole bunch more made the most recent Inc. 5000 ranking.

WalletHub points out that not all Illinois job markets are the same. Some offer significant advantages over other Illinois markets. Here's what WalletHub's analysts looked at to determine "2018’s Best & Worst Illinois Cities for Jobs:"

Before you completely write the Prairie State off your short list, consider the job-seeker-friendliness of more than 120 Illinois cities. WalletHub ranked them all based on 16 key indicators of labor-market health, ranging from “employment growth” to “median monthly starting salary” to “unemployment rate.”


First, the 5 best cities for jobs in Illinois:

1) St. Charles

2) Geneva

3) Grayslake

4) Liberyville

5) Schaumburg


Next, we look at WalletHub's choices for 5 worst cities for jobs in Illinois:

117) Carbondale

118) Calumet City

119) Dolton

120) Harvey

121) East St. Louis

As for Rockford, we come in at #99 overall.

Rockford’s Job Market (1=Best; 60=Avg.)

  • 56th – Job Opportunities
  • 13th – Employment Growth
  • 32nd – Average Starting Salary (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
  • 22nd – Time Spent Working & Commuting
  • 103rd – % of Workers with Private Health Insurance
  • 94th – Unemployment Rate for Residents with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree
  • 28th – Housing Costs

Here's where some of our neighbors land on the list:

Belvidere is #68

Machesney Park is #69

Loves Park is #78

Freeport is #90

DeKalb is #108


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