Jobs in Chicago: Top Industries in the Windy City

Chicago’s economy is one that is fueled by both new and old industries that have withstood the test of time. With employer giants like J.P. Morgan Chase, AT&T, Allstate Corp. and Jewel-Osco in the Windy City, there are job opportunities in just about every field. The top industries include: business services, finance and insurance, information technology, manufacturing, health and transportation.

Business and Finance

When it comes to business and finance services, Chicago offers a richly diverse culture of expertise. There are more than one million residents working in this industry and some of the top occupations include:

  • Accounting
  • Payroll
  • Tax preparation
  • Security
  • Legal services
  • Advertising
  • Research & Development

The finance industry is always rich in job opportunities as the city is home to Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, Chase, Bank of America and many other Federal Reserve banks. Job opportunities can also be found with the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Information Technology

Not surprisingly, Chicago’s technology sector is seeing growth as new industries are emerging in the city. Some of the most active industries include:

  • Data hosting and processing
  • Internet publishing
  • Communications
  • Tech consulting services


In the manufacturing industry, Chicago continues to be one of the leaders with more than 10 percent of the local economy and 400,000 residents relying on the industry. With manufacturing on the decline in the United States, those in the industry may want to reconsider relocating to the Chicago area to take advantage of employment opportunities.


Chicago’s health industry is also booming with more than half a million people employed in the health services industry. The city is home to six different medical schools and more than 90 hospitals. If you are seeking a job in the healthcare industry, the Windy City has plenty to offer. Top jobs include:

  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Phlebotomist


The city of Chicago has long been a leader in America’s transportation and distribution industry. Over the last two decades, the city has become even more vital. As a result, there are plenty of job opportunities as companies are able to offer services that are competitively priced. The city is a hub for six Class I United States railroads. The city’s international airport handles more than one million tons of freight each year. Not only that, but the city is also home to two major ports and at the center of six of the country’s major highways. Needless to say, choosing employment in the transportation industry is a no-brainer for Chicago residents.

Although the unemployment rate for the state of Illinois sits at 8.6 percent, Chicago’s job opportunities are on the rise. Job seekers in the city can take advantage of job searching sites to find local employment opportunities that meet their skill level and experience. These sites are not only limited to Chicago residents either. They can be used by anyone, anywhere to find jobs in just about any city in the country.

If Caught in Disaster…Tips To Survive Your Next Long Hospital Stay

Maybe you have been a victim of one of the disastrous tornados, seasonal hurricane or a zombie apocalypse? Or you have ran into a complication in life, a bump in the road, and now you are in the hospital. You want to make this situation better.

This list of tasks will make your stay more comfortable, and you should take every comfort you can. You are also going to need to do things to make sure you remain in peak health, or at least, as healthy as possible.

Hospitals can be luxurious or provide the bare minimum. You are going to want to bring certain comfort items to ease your time in the hospital. And, you do not want to come out of the hospital in a depressed or agitated state from being cut off from your family. Even when going to the hospital is planned, the mere sight of nursing uniforms can cause many to start feeling anxious and scared.

Tips on Surviving Your Hospital Stay

  • Pillows. Hospitals are not famous for      providing you with the best pillows. Your pillow may be the most      comforting thing you have in a hospital – and you’ll be in contact with it      the majority of the time.
  • Different perspectives. Doctors have a highly      professional, rigorous course of study. But as with all sciences, there      are different opinions for each doctor. Your doctor may have a different      opinion than the doctor at the hospital. You may get multiple perspectives      from different resident doctors. You should decide on which one you want      to believe in and tell them both. Hearing what you want to hear as far as      a diagnosis should not be a deciding factor.
  • Laptops or tablets. If you have an iPad, bring it with      you. You are going to be spending a good deal of time lying down, so you      are going to want to be as comfortable as possible. If you have a laptop,      bring it with you. You are going to need a method of passing the time.      Most people prefer the Internet to television – especially daytime TV.      Most hospital rooms offer internet plans at affordable rates to make you      feel at home during your hospital stay.
  • Comfortable Clothing. Hospital clothing is not the      most fashionable nor is it very comfortable. More than likely you will be      having visitors and the open back gown that they provide is not the best      way to greet your guests. So on days when you will not be in surgery      consider purchasing your own scrubs to wear during your stay. They are now      very fashionable and come in many designs such as Dickies brand scrubs or      Cherokee.
  • Questions. You should be asking plenty of      questions on what your doctor is doing and why they are doing it. Being      uninformed in a hospital could be a problem. Writing      down all your questions,      will help and you won’t be wondering, since you know what is going to      happen.
  • Medicine list. You are going to want to have a      list of all the up-to-date medicines that you take on a regular basis.      Doctors may go through your records and decide to give you a new medicine.      They aren’t doing this to prescribe you with a wrong medication. The fault      often lies with your previous health care providers.
  • Leave. While the hospital is the best      place to receive the treatment you seek, it is not the best place to      recover and return to being less sickly. Instead, you should try to leave      the hospital as soon as you are permitted. You are putting yourself at      risk of greater complications the longer you stay in the hospital.

A hospital is a great place to get treatment, but it is not the best place to be. You would rather be somewhere other than a hospital. And you are going to want to get well soon, as the cards say.


How to Fix Your Finances Yourself

Often, when getting advice on repairing your finances, saving money and cutting your debt, one of the steps provided is to contact a financial advisor or other professional. The truth is that spending money on yet another service isn’t exactly a good step toward saving money, and with a little perseverance, you can actually do everything that they can.

Debt Reduction

The first step to debt reduction is to gather all of your bills in one place and determine how much you owe to each creditor. Creating a notebook or a spreadsheet with this information will make it much easier to see where you are at and look at the big picture.

You may have a few smaller bills lying around. Take care of those quickly before they escalate into bigger bills thanks to late fees. Check them off your spreadsheet.

Organize the rest of your bills from smallest to largest. If you can, continue to pay the minimum balance on the rest while you put most of your resources into paying them off in order, starting from the smallest. The reason for starting with the smallest is that you can pay the smaller bills off quickly, which will feel rewarding and will encourage you to keep up with your debt reduction plan. As you pay off each bill, roll over the amount you were paying toward the next bill, so that your payments steadily increase, and debt reduction happens even faster.

Investing and Saving                                       

Once you’ve paid off your bills, it’s time to put that money to work for you. Don’t just put your money into the savings account that is attached to your checking. Chances are good that the interest rate on that account is low. Look around for a high-interest savings account or a high yield money market account. You can find tools online that will show you an up-to-date listing of the banks or institutions that are offering the best interest rates.

If your employer offers a 401k or other retirement plan, invest in it, especially if your employer offers a matching program. When your employer matches your contributions, that’s essentially free money. Always invest at least as much as your employer is willing to match to grow your retirement savings quickly. If you are self-employed, start your own retirement account. Your bank or credit union can get you started, and you can set up automatic deposits straight from your checking account so that you don’t forget.

Taking control of your finances doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t require a degree in accounting or financial management. Try these tips and keep making the effort, and you will see the rewards.

Post by Amanda 

Quick Tip: How to Double Your Warranty Instantly


Here’s how you can double your warranty on many items that you purchase. Use your credit card. That’s right. I do disagree with Dave Ramsey on some things (although I agree more than I disagree). Credit cards can be a tool if used correctly and this is one example (out of many examples).

Many of the major credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) have some form of extended warranty protection. This is available on all Visa Signature cards and many other Visa credit cards (Warranty Manager Service). MasterCard offers Extended Warranty on their World MasterCard and others. American Express offers its Buyer’s Assurance Plan on all their cards. Discover does not currently offer any extended warranty protection.

Qualifying items must be purchased entirely on the credit card. They will usually add one year to the manufacturer’s warranty for free and if it breaks within that extended period, the credit card company will reimburse you or replace/repair the item! So next time you’re offered to purchase an extended warranty plan, just politely decline and charge it to your credit card! Remember to keep all invoices, receipts, manufacturer warranty papers, etc. as you may need it to file a claim. Also the original credit card has to be kept open in order for it to work.

As a credit card holder, it pays to know your benefits! Take advantage of those benefits and you could save money!

As always, check the terms of your actual credit cards to make sure you have this.

Quick Tip: Figure Out Your Take-Home Pay


Here’s a quick and easy way to figure out your take-home pay. This calculator on Yahoo lets you figure out your take-home pay by inputting how much your gross pay is per pay period plus any allowances and deductions you have. So take out your pay stub and fill in the information! You can input “what-if” situations to see how a change in 401k withholding and other things can impact your take-home pay.

If you want to get a little more detailed, you can check out this calculator (hourly) which allows you to pick a state to get an even more accurate number for your take-home pay by calculating your state’s income tax rate and more.

Here’s one for if you’re on salary rather than an hourly wage. These are powered by PaycheckCity.

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