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Advanced Manufacturing Expertise, Business Services Key To Chicago’s Future, Report Finds

Advanced manufacturing expertise coupled with diversified manufacturing and related business services ensure Chicago’s continued future as a leading global city, according to a new report commissioned by HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

The report, authored by Chicago Council on Global Affairs Senior Fellows Richard C. Longworth and Phil Levy, finds that while manufacturing is Chicago’s second leading industry behind social services, it dominates the metro and regional economies and trade. Nationally, manufacturing comprises about 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.

Furthermore, manufacturing in Chicago will continue to thrive because of the city's deep expertise and resources in the industry, including advanced manufacturing processes based on research and development, the report shows.

“While manufacturing is an evolving industry, Chicago-area manufacturing and trade in manufacturing will continue to be huge forces in the local economy,” said The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Longworth. “The region is central to the global supply chain of many industries, and if global manufacturers need advice on how to run an industry, they come to Chicago to get it. While Chicago’s bright future will depend on many sectors, manufacturing is undoubtedly Chicago’s bellwether.”

Some of the key trade highlights of the report, Revival in the Heartland: Manufacturing and Trade in Chicago, include:

  • Manufacturing accounted for two-thirds of the metro region's exports in 2013
  • Manufacturing added over $6 billion in direct wages into Chicago’s six-county region in 2012
  • Each manufacturing job accounts for a spin-off of another 2.2 jobs, adding about 800,000 more jobs at locally-based suppliers and in business services, such as accounting
  • Manufacturing adds close to $54 billion yearly to the gross regional product
  • Manufacturing makes up about 90 percent of the state’s total exports, totalling $63 billion in 2012

Chicago also benefits from a diverse manufacturing base that is supported by strong business services. The report, which will be featured at today's HSBC Made For Trade1 Chicago – Manufacturing Global Connections, shows that Chicago’s manufacturing industry is dispersed among several sectors. It also notes that the city’s strong business and professional services related to manufacturing will keep growing, particularly as developing countries continue to grow and look for these services.

“Chicago is the epicenter of America's manufacturing renaissance and I’m pleased to be part of HSBC’s Made for Trade event to highlight our leading role in the global marketplace," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Chicago’s strength lies in diversity as no more than 13 percent of our economy is tied to any one sector. This ensures our place as a thriving hub for global business and international trade. There is excitement in the air as the City of Big Shoulders transforms to a place for big discoveries while the next generation of advanced manufacturing flourishes here.”

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