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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Illinois


Fast Facts: Illinois is the populous and diverse “Land of Lincoln” state. Its capital is Springfield, while the largest city is Chicago.

Illinois Careers: As of 2008, U.S. Census data estimated the state population at approximately 13 million. Forbes recently ranked Illinois as the 35th “Best State for Business.”

Illinois Career Education: Illinois ranked 31st in a 2009 K-12 “Academic Achievement” study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Illinois Economy: Illinois is an interesting microcosm of America with its eclectic mix of farming and manufacturing, its Midwest values, small towns and productive farms, together with big city clout and industrial strength.

For details and sources, click the “Career Information” tab below.



Illinois Fast facts:

Location, Location, Location...:  The most populous and demographically diverse midwestern state. Illinois is often viewed as a microcosm of the United States as it blends small towns and idyllic farms with big cities and industrial might.

Cities:  The state capital is Springfield, while its largest cities are Chicago, Aurora, and Rockford. (1-CB)

Behind the Name:  Illinois is nicknamed “The Land of Lincoln,” and the “Heart of America.”

A Closer Look:  The 21st state admitted to the U.S., Illinois is now an important transportation center with the Port of Chicago connecting the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River.

Did You Know?  Approximately 66% of the population of Illinois resides in the northeastern corner of the state, primarily within the city of Chicago and the surrounding area.

Illinois Careers and Employment:

Population:  12,901,563 (3.9% increase since 2000) – 50.7% Female, 49.3% Male (2008 U.S. Census Bureau).

Business Environment:  Ranked 35th in Forbes Magazine’s “Best States for Business,” 2008.

Top Industries:  In terms of paid employees, according to a 2008 U.S. Census Bureau study: (1) manufacturing; (2) health care and social assistance; (3) retail trade; (4) accommodation and food services; and (5) administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.

Taxes:  Income Tax, 3.0% and Sales Tax, 6.25% (Federation of Tax Administrators).

Cost of Living:  96.7 in relation to the “National Average” of 100 (Federal Cost of Living Index).

Quality of Life:  Ranked 25th of 50 states by CNBC, 2009.

Weather:  Average Temperature (In °F) – Jan: 24.58; Apr: 51.68; July: 75.43; Oct: 54.20 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

K-12:  Ranked 31st of 50 states in “Academic Achievement” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2009.

Illinois Economics:

In General:  Though Illinois is one of the most productive farming states in the country, most of the jobs are in the service industry (36%). Other notable sectors include manufacturing (15%), wholesale and retail trade (19%), and government and military services (12%).

Service Industry:  Community, business and personal services (private health care, hotels, law firms, repair shops, accounting firms, advertising agencies, engineering companies, law firms) lead the way in the service industry. Finance, insurance and real estate industries rank second in the service category with real estate producing the most income in this group. Chicago is considered the financial capital of the Midwest.

Agriculture:  In terms of revenue generated, Illinois’ top five agricultural products are corn for grain, soybeans, hogs, cattle and calves and dairy products.

Manufacturing:  Illinois is a leading manufacturing state, with machinery (construction equipment, farm machinery, machine tools) ranking first in this sector. The processed food sector ranks second among manufacturing industries with the chief products being baked goods, breakfast cereals, candy, sausage and spices.

Mining:  Coal is the most important mined product of Illinois. In addition, petroleum, crushed stone, sand and gravel provide a substantial contribution to the mining sector.

 Did You Know?  Illinois is one of the leading producers of corn and soybeans, but it is also the home of the world’s busiest airport and towering skyscrapers.

Illinois Education:

Find Colleges and Universities in Illinois, here.


Sources:  In addition to specific citations noted in this “Career Information” section, supplementary source materials include:  the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service; Netstate.com; Education-Portal.com; USCollegeSearch.org; and Wikipedia.com.

General Information
12,415,876 Population (as of 2000)2.0 Average Persons Per Household (as of 2000)
12,362,035 Population (current)$74,040 Average House Value (as of 2000)
55,353.1 Square Miles of Land$39,991 Average House Income (as of 2000)
264.9 Square Miles of Water

Business Information
310,754 Number of Businesses (as of 2003)$47,809,533,000 Total First Quarter Payroll (as of 2003)
5,089,483 Number of Employees (as of 2003)$194,265,089,000 Total Annual Payroll (as of 2003)

Gender (as of 2000)
Ethnicity (as of 2000)
Median Ages (as of 2000)
Featured Online Colleges
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Colleges in the State of Illinois
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State Employers