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New report examines impact of tech in Chicago economy

June 28, 2022

Chicago has seen 18 percent growth in its technology ecosystem (i.e. technology occupations in technology industries, non-technology occupations in technology industries, and technology occupations in non-technology industries) in the last decade compared to a 1 percent growth in the overall economy, according to the Chicago Tech Effect report from Chicagoland Chamber of Congress and HR&A Advisors. The report might serve as a model for other areas examining the importance of technology in their region’s economy. Chicago’s tech ecosystem employs over 8 percent of the city’s workforce and accounted for 87 percent of new jobs in the area within the last decade, according to the report. “Chicago is fueling upward mobility and greater economic equality,” according to the report, with the median wage in the tech ecosystem 1.5 times higher than the median wage for the overall economy. Further, about 50 percent of tech jobs in Chicago are considered nontraditional (i.e. non-technology occupations in technology industries), which allows a greater number of individuals to participate in the field.  

The city has also seen a higher percentage of Black and Latino participation than the national average, with 32 percent diverse participation as compared to  the national average of 19 percent. Chicago has the highest share of female founders as compared to the top 20 tech hubs in the world, according to the report. In an effort to continue trends of inclusion and prosperity, the report recommends continuing to promote Chicago as a national and global leading tech hub, strengthening the diverse talent pipeline, and ensuring positive public policy that allows Chicago’s tech ecosystem to continue to grow.