Pro Bono Partners

A.T. Kearney

Analysis suggests challenging trajectory for Chicago labor market

Over the past decade, the United States has experienced a significant loss of middle-wage jobs and rapid growth in low-wage employment. In Chicago, the polarization of economic opportunity is particularly troubling---but no clear picture of where the labor market is heading is available. As such, Civic Consulting Alliance and pro bono partner A.T. Kearney set out to learn how technological advancements and economic growth might work together to shape the future labor market.

The team applied a scenario-planning approach to Chicago's regional labor market. The findings show the potential for a disturbing trajectory: Even in the best-case scenario of strong economic growth and the growth of technology as a collaborative tool (rather than replacing human employees), the city will continue to struggle to create middle-wage jobs.

This analysis will help shape Civic Consulting's work going forward, ensuring workforce-oriented projects are targeted at the biggest opportunities facing the city---growing jobs and quality of life for those who work in the region.