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Spring Into Business in Illinois

by Ricardo Ramos on Jul 14, 2020

Once covered in miles and miles of prairie grass, Illinois has played and continues to play a critical role in the economic and political development of the United States. With an abundance of natural resources and ideal location, Illinois has become a hub for agriculture, manufacturing and exports and continues to be an attractive destination among Allied’s clients.

Every year, Allied releases an annual Magnet States Report in which we study our moving data to highlight key migration trends happening across the US. In our 2019 Magnet States Report, Illinois ranked as the #4 top destination state for Allied corporate clients. Home to one of the countries largest cities, Chicago continues to top our list as the #3 corporate destination city. According to our data, most of Chicago’s newcomers are trading in the infamous New York pizza for a taste of the deep dish.

With large markets and a central location that is connected to the nation’s infrastructure, Illinois is a magnet for organizations to set their roots and grow their businesses. Over 60 Fortune 500 companies and 1.2 millions small businesses operate in the great Prairie State, even Allied and our parent company, SIRVA, call this state home.

As one of the most diverse economies in the nation, Illinois is home to many of the world’s best-known brands like McDonalds, Mondelez International, Caterpillar, Walgreens, Boeing and many more. From exports to manufacturing, agriculture to mining, Illinois offers an abundance of opportunity at the epicenter of the US.


As one of the world’s most culturally vibrant states, Illinois promises businesses large markets, a highly skilled labor force, and ideal geographical location. Illinois has become a magnet for businesses in part due to it being the home of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. The Windy City offers big advantages to companies in terms of a large customer base and a diverse and well-educated labor market.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois has more than 6.2 million people contributing to the labor force, making Illinois an ideal market for employers to hire top talent. Illinois boasts an impressive array of highly trained and talented workers earning advanced degrees from some of the nation's top universities. As a “magnet for the country’s brightest minds”, more engineers graduate from the state than MIT, Stanford, and Cal Tech combined[1].

Entrepreneurs gravitate toward the great state of Illinois due to its unique and central location. Its midwestern position on the map and top-notch infrastructure connects the state to virtually all major urban centers across the country and provides easy access to global operations. With a national railroad hub, a world class international airport, and waterways full of commercial traffic, Illinois is an appealing state for corporations to call home.


Illinois is home to a wide variety of knowledge-based industries. Services, manufacturing and agriculture are the top industries significantly contributing to establishing the state as the fifth highest GDP in the nation.

Providing the largest portion of the state’s income, the service-providing industries are just one of the many business sectors rapidly growing and succeeding in the state. Finance, insurance, real estate and rental boosts the state’s economy and employs more than 1.2 million workers.

Lying between the old-industrial belt and hub for the nation’s agriculture, Illinois has evolved into an advanced, technology-driven manufacturing state. Processed food, machinery and chemical manufacturing are among the top products processed in the state. As an advanced manufacturing powerhouse, Illinois has over 290,000 skilled workers, technicians, machine operators and employed at some of the nation’s top manufacturers including Boeing, Caterpillar, John Deere, and Navistar.

Illinois as a whole is an extremely flat state with a fertile soil, making it the ideal state for agriculture. With over 75,000 farms covering nearly 76% of the state, Illinois feeds the nation. As a leading producer of soybeans, corn, and swine, the agricultural output from this state is more than $20 billion annually, with corn accounting for nearly 40%. No wonder popcorn is the state’s official snack food; they have corn growing out of their ears!


The state’s diverse geography, high-caliber universities, abundance of job opportunities, make Illinois a desirable play to live. WIth a reasonable cost of living and highly desirable cities to live in like Chicago, Illinois continues to have more moves into the state than out.

The cost of living in the state as a whole is below the national average, however the Windy City is a little pricey. Though when compared to other large cities across the nation, Chicago is on the low end with $1,943 a month. According to rentcafe, the average rent in Los Angeles is $2,524, in Manhattan $4,208 and San Francisco $3,629. What the city lacks in affordability it delivers in quality education, abundance of sports and magnificent arts and culture.

For the last five years, the Land of Lincoln has continued to top Allied’s list of top destination states for our corporate customers. However, we are seeing more people than ever leave the state in the last few years. Will the world class business environment continue to be a magnet for corporations in the next coming years?

If you’re thinking of moving your organization to Illinois, we would be honored to play a role in this vital transition and move your business forward. Contact us to learn more about our corporate moving solutions: http://bit.ly/37gInnn

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