With more than 150,000 residents, Rockford, Illinois is the state's third-largest city. The city's founders chose and positioned the city between Chicago and Galena to take advantage of the area's industrial development. Rockford has a thriving culture with several museums, gardens, theaters, and music venues. Mendelssohn Club is recognized as the country's oldest music club.
Fans of pop rock music may recognize Rockford as the home of Cheap Trick, a power pop band that formed in 1974 and continues to play concerts around the world.
As a part of the Rust Belt, many Rockford, IL jobs in manufacturing have disappeared in recent decades. Despite this, it has a diverse economy that has attracted industries focused on technological development. The city also relies on tourism revenue, which has encouraged community leaders to revitalize the downtown area.
Rockford has a low cost of living that makes it an affordable place for many people. Overall, its cost of living is 82, which makes it about 18 percent cheaper than the U.S. average. The low cost of living comes from affordable housing. Rockford's housing index (44) is about 56 percent cheaper than the national average. Other indices, such as transportation, groceries, and utilities, are close to the national average.
Rockford Job Opportunities
Rockford jobs once relied heavily on those created by the automotive industry. Manufacturing still plays an important role in the area, but there has been a significant loss of manufacturing jobs in Rockford, IL. Luckily, many of those jobs have been replaced by growth in the healthcare and technology sectors.
Given the city's large population, qualified residents may want to look for education jobs in Rockford. City, county, and state government is also an important source of Rockford jobs.
Rockford's largest employers include:
Swedish American Hospital
Rockford Health System
UTC Aerospace Systems
OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center
Rockford Employment Trends
As of July 2014, an 11 percent unemployment rate made Rockford, IL jobs scarce. The situation, however, has greatly improved since January 2010, when the unemployment rate exceeded 20 percent. Still, Rockford's unemployment is over three percent higher than the state and about four percent higher than the U.S. rate.
Since the number of manufacturing jobs in Rockford has fallen, residents may want to explore jobs in Peoria and other nearby communities. Applicants who expand their job search to larger areas often find more opportunities.