The Top Midwest Cities for Jobs Right Now

Once termed the ‘Rust Belt’ for its declining industrial economy, the Midwest has been on a steady rise over the last decade and is rebounding strongly in 2015. Regional adaptation to the national shift away from heavy industrial production has promoted an overall increase in the fields of Information Technology and Engineering. In some cases these new sectors have directly rescued previously hampered businesses as tech jobs fill the unemployment gap while these industries modernized.

By analyzing the hiring demand trends in the Midwest’s major metro areas, we examine which cities have emerged as the leaders in terms of hiring demand so far in 2015, and which industries saw the greatest growth. Demand in the Manufacturing and Engineering industries remained high overall, but strong trends can also be observed toward Information Technology and Healthcare industry developments. Cities adjacent to major highways maintain strong Transportation industries, and popular Midwest tourist spots continue to employ in the fields of Retail and Customer Service.

1. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI  – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +360

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Home to multiple Fortune 1000 companies and one of the world’s largest futures markets, Chicagoland is a global financial hub. The city has long been a major producer of goods like steel, oil, automotive parts and electronics, and over the last decade its economic base has been bolstered by services like education, financial trading, and healthcare.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

2. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +160

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Michigan’s most populated city has long been known best for its auto production. Advancements in automobile technology have made engineering and information technology powerful in Detroit as well, and the region has been key in creating work as the center of an industry responsible for supporting 1 in 10 U.S. jobs.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

3. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +110

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The Twin Cities are global financial player as the home to the U.S. headquarters for many foreign companies and the business hub between Seattle and Chicago. In addition to it’s economic centrality, the area’s economy is driven by production; Minneapolis is a national leader in medical device manufacturing. Additionally, the cities are considered by many to be the cultural center  of the region and draw creative talent interested in music, writing, and theater.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

4. Indianapolis-Carmel, IN – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +80

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Indianapolis’ diverse economy is bolstered both by major corporations and small businesses supported by state and local government incentives. It also serves a large tourist population as a host to many conventions and sporting events like the Indy 500.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

5. St. Louis, MO-IL – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +50

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Engineering and healthcare were observed as the leaders in St. Louis’ economy, with several major healthcare manufacturing corporations headquartered in the area. The city is also home to large companies across a variety of industries such as Monsanto and Energizer Holdings. The need for distribution of goods continues to drive the transportation industry.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

6. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +44

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Historically known for furniture manufacturing, the Grand Rapids metro area produces a variety of goods ranging from aviation parts to fruit.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

7. Kansas City, MO-KS – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +40

The Paris of the Plains made a strong showing in the transportation industry, its distribution powers made possible by a central location and more freeway lane miles than any other major metropolitan area. Home to Cerner, the city also performed in the healthcare industry.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

8. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +30

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Des Moines is known primarily for its political significance and large financial and insurance service base, but here a trend toward the engineering and tech industries can be observed.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

9. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +22

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Engineering and manufacturing emerged as the driving industries in this metropolitan area, with major headquarters and factory plants located in the region.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

10. La Crosse, WI-MN – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +20

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A majority of La Crosse’s largest employers are in the healthcare and tech industries; Gundersen Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System, and Logistics Health System all call the city home. Here, we can observe a boom in the marketing industry as well as strong showings in service work such as retail and customer service.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

11. Lansing-East Lansing, MI – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +19

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Lansing boasts a varied economy that continues to perform well in the educational and insurance industry. Recently, a declining automotive industry has promoted a shift toward the cultivation of an IT industry. We can observe the burgeoning success of those efforts here.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

12. Peoria, IL – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +18

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A production heavy economy propelled by companies like Caterpillar and ethanol processing plant Archer Daniels Midland have allowed the Peoria’s engineering and transportation industries to thrive.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

13. Evansville, IN-KY – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +17

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Evansville is a regional hub for business and trade. It is known for economic stability among its range of industries, and continues to perform in well in multiple sectors.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

  • Trucking/Transportation: Class A CDL Driver
  • Healthcare: Orthopedic Physician Assistant
  • Manufacturing/Operations: Continuous Improvement Manager
  • Insurance: Final Expense
  • Marketing/PR: Entry Level Marketing

14. St. Cloud, MN – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +10

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Government and healthcare industries dictate St. Cloud’s economy, with the CentraCare Health System and state government employing the majority of the region.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

15. Bloomington-Normal, IL – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +9

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In Bloomington a thriving agricultural production industry promotes heavy distribution and a successful transportation industry.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

16. Rockford, IL – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +8

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Heavy production driven by companies like the Chrysler Assembly Plant and UTC Aerospace Systems continued to create jobs in Rockford’s manufacturing industry.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

17. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +7

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The home city of investor Warren Buffet and America’s ‘Gateway to the West’ made a strong showing with diversified industries and a strong tech base.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

  • Trucking/Transportation: Class A CDL Driver
  • Engineering: Project Engineer
  • Information Technology: Systems Engineer
  • Healthcare: Occupational Therapist
  • Manufacturing/Operations: Cad Designer

18. Kalamazoo-Portage, MI – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +6

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Kalamazoo boasts a strong manufacturing economy and production of varied goods, and with its central location between Chicago and Detroit also holds claim to a successful distribution industry.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

19. Fargo, ND-MN – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +5

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Home to North Dakota State University, this metropolitan area serves as the cultural and industrial hub for the region. Once primarily dependent on agricultural production, Fargo’s economy is now supported by a variety of industries.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

20. Appleton, WI – ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index: +4

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Healthcare leads in Appleton, where the St. Elizabeth Hospital and Appleton Medical Center account for nearly 20% of the city’s employment.

Top 5 Industries and their most in-demand position:

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