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Rockford Area Cracks Top 10 In Good Jobs Growth List


An upswing in the Rockford metropolitan area’s economy over the last several years is reflected favorably in a recent report.  Rockford ranked eighth among the 150 largest metro areas in the country for the highest percentage of new jobs in occupations that pay a living wage.

Job search website CareerBuilder and its labor market analysis company Economic Modeling Specialists compiled the list, which covers job growth from 2010 to 2014.  It singled out team assemblers and machinists as occupations experiencing high growth in the Rockford area.   

Terrance Hall is International and Business Development Director for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council.  Hall says the ranking shows that the area is a good place to work and live.

“It’s really a combination of the affordability of Rockford, as well as the pay scale of the jobs that are available and growing,” Hall says.

Hall says the outlook is even better than the ranking would suggest. He says the Rockford area continues to see an increase in the number of high-wage jobs.

“We’ve actually experienced significant growth between 2013 and 2015 as well, in a number of industries.  Engineers are very much in demand in the Rockford area right now,” Hall says.   

Hall says other high-wage jobs, like air maintenance mechanics, are also set to see their numbers grow in the near future.

The living wage was defined for a household with two adults and one child as determined by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.  CareerBuilder says a living wage covers basic family and household expenses, incorporates estimated taxes and assumes individuals are working full-time.

The Beaumont-Port Arthur metropolitan area in Texas led the list, fueled by jobs in oil refining.  Peoria, Illinois was third, with strong growth in industrial engineers and insurance sales agents.

Guy Stephens produces news stories for the station, and coordinates our online events calendar, PSAs and Arts Calendar announcements. In each of these ways, Guy helps keep our listening community informed about what's going on, whether on a national or local level. Guy's degrees are in music, and he spent a number of years as a classical host on WNIU. In fact, after nearly 20 years with Northern Public Radio, the best description of his job may be "other duties as required."