By Ted Dabrowski

Chicago’s Loop might be hot, but city politicians will want to look at two big cities down South to see what real job creation looks like.

Austin and Nashville led the Wall Street Journal’s survey of the nation’s hottest job markets in 2020. The two southern capitals led the nation with the hottest job markets out of the 53 metro areas with a population of 1 million or more. 

Chicago, in contrast, ranked 45th.

The WSJ rankings were based on Moody’s Analytics data composed of five factors: metro-area unemployment rate, labor-force participation, job growth, labor force growth and wage growth.

Unfortunately, the Windy City just isn’t competitive. Chicago’s best ranking was 29th for labor-force participation. And it ranked 40th for wage growth and 46th for labor force growth.

In contrast, top-ranked Austin ranked 5th for low unemployment, 9th highest for job growth and 3rd out all metro areas for wage growth. Even the area’s lowest ranking, labor-force growth, was still in the top third of the rankings.

2nd-place Nashville was ranked even higher than Austin in some metrics. It had the lowest unemployment rate of any metro area in the nation at 2.6 percent. It was also 2nd in labor-force growth and 4th in labor-force participation. The city’s only poor metric was wage growth, where it ranked 31st.

Chicago politicians say they want more jobs, higher pay and greater labor participation in the Windy City. But if they do, they’ll want to think about how to become more competitive.

Chicago is being out-hustled by cities hungry for investment, capital and people. Cities like Austin, Nashville and Denver understand the game of competition. That’s how you grow the labor force and increase pay. Keep regulations limited. Encourage entrepreneurship. Make owning a small business easier.

That’s a lesson Chicago hasn’t learned.

Instead, Chicago politicians keep thinking they can make the city prosperous via government fiat. The city’s minimum wage hike. The call for a LaSalle street tax. The proposed progressive real estate transfer tax. And a new budget with a host of new taxes on ride sharing, online entertainment, e-cigarettes, utilities, permits and more.

It’s clearly not working.

Read more about Chicago’s many problems:

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James Libbe
3 months ago

I would love to know which metro areas are worse than Chicago!

nixit
3 months ago

Charlotte Mercantile Exchange

Freddy
3 months ago

Many of us are possibly taking a hit in the market “Correction” or “Over” reaction or possibly “Crash” due to Covid-19 concerns. How many public pensioners are getting smaller checks? Not only are we the taxpayers losing money in our 401K’s/IRA’s/etc but we are still responsible for theirs who will lose nothing. No loss of sleep for public retirees. The checks keep rolling in and at 3% compounding regardless of returns or funding levels. So let it be written. So let it be done. “Ramses ll ” Referring to the Illinois pension law circa 1970 A.D.

DantheMan
3 months ago

This week we may be witnessing the trigger for the demise of Chicago and Illinois. The recession that seemed nowhere close a month ago may soon be upon the state and the globe, thanks to coronavirus. Even Trump can’t stop a worldwide epidemic. Financially healthy states will tread water for awhile. Illinois, having never really recovered from the 2007/2008 financial crisis, will finally drown in it’s debt. Myself and others may have been horribly wrong in our expectation that Illinois will slowly decline. Let me be clear. We could very well be at the beginning of a recession that nobody… Read more »

3 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

That’s spot on, Dan the Man. It’s usually that way in a frothy market or when a bad actor is barely hanging on. Some exogenous event comes out of nowhere to reveal the truth. History is rife with such events.

DantheMan
3 months ago
Reply to  Ted Dabrowski

A potential double whammy could be how the virus impacts the 2020 election. I had figured that the strong economy would allow Trump to be reelected. No doubt most of the media will now try to blame Trump for the virus impact. If you think the market dip because of coronavirus is bad, wait until you see what happens when a socialist is in the oval office.

debtsor
3 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

America will overwhelmingly vote for a strong man to lead us through the global pandemic and coming recession. No way they’re going to elect some weak ineffective socialist like Bernie or crazy old man like Biden to steer us to recovery. The real question will be 2024, if we’re still not recovered by then, or if the economy is still slow, america may give socialism a try as they did during the great depression, and as we all know, by the very words of FDR’s own cabinet members, the new deal was a complete failure.

DantheMan
3 months ago
Reply to  debtsor

We came close to putting an unlikable, corrupt, incompetent Hillary in the oval office. You have more faith in the 2020 American voters than I do. I sure hope you are right though.

debtsor
3 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

We, as in the natives, we elected Trump. Trump won the popular vote excluding California. The foreign born voter of the Golden State’s, over 11,000,000 people, likely caused nationwide popular vote from Trump to Clinton. Think about for a second. California alone caused Trump to lose the popular vote because of the overwhelming numbers of foreign born citizens. If that’s not a sign we have been invaded by American hating foreigners, I don’t know what is.

Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  debtsor

In the November 2016 general Presidential election:

Trump won 30 states plus ME-02.

Clinton won 20 states plus DC.

Clinton won the popular US vote by 2,868,686 votes.

Trump received 62,984,828 votes (46.1%).

Clinton received 65,853,514 votes (48.2%).

128,838,342 US popular votes.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_United_States_presidential_election

Clinton won California by 4,269,978 votes.

Clinton received 8,753,788 votes (61.73%).

Trump received 4,483,810 votes (31.62%).

13,237,598 California popular votes.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_United_States_presidential_election_in_California

California accounted for 10.27% of the US popular vote.

debtsor
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Exactly, exactly. Back out all of California for Trump and Clinton, and Trump won the popular vote.

Put CA back in, and then assume that 27% of the 13,237,598 California popular votes were foreign born (as 27% percent of the entire population is, yes I know it’s not an exact correlation between the two, but good enough for this purpose), and assuming that 0-10% of those foreign born voted for Trump (which is entirely likely) that’s about 3,000,000 votes of foreign born Californians that gave the popular vote to Clinton over Trump. It’s not a perfect calculation, but close enough.

debtsor
3 months ago
Reply to  Ted Dabrowski

The coronavirus is our excuse to decouple from the Chinese and global economy. We won’t be in a recession as the economy heats up as manufacturing and other back office work returns to US shores within 6-12 months. Its gonna be crazy busy as new factories and warehouses start going up everywhere, well, everywhere but Illinois.

MikeH
3 months ago
Reply to  debtsor

I would love to see that happen.

Poor Taxpayer
3 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

Illinois is DOA. The honest hard working taxpayer will pay huge tax money for lazy worthless government workers to enjoy Beautiful Florida Homes. Many live like millionaires on your money. Feel like you are getting screwed? You should because you are.