Saturday, June 30, 2007

Things I Learned About Chicago While Reading Crain's 2007 Market Facts

The current issue of Crain's Chicago Business includes their annual survey of facts about the Chicago market. It's always a great read, both for basic trends and some engaging trivia. Some factoids from the 2007 survey:
  • The two metro area towns predicted to grow fastest in the next five years are named Gilberts and Minooka. Elgin is third.
  • Chicago is the 16th most expensive place to do business in the United States.
  • At an index rating of 109.8, Chicago's cost of living is not much more half than New York City's (214.7), but higher than Columbus, Ohio (1oo.1). It's over a third cheaper to live in Joplin, Missouri (82), but then, again, you have to live in Joplin, Missouri.
  • CEO's compensation averaged a 53.8% gain in 2006, COO's 74.1%, CFO's 48.2%; that of chemists dropped 5.2%, quality assurance technicians declined 6.9%, and customer service reps fell 4.3%, which may have something to do with their general hostility whenever we get them on the line.
  • Cook County spews 73,537 of toxic emissions into the air each year, but Chicago ranks only 11 among the nation's most polluted cities. Our recycling rate (17.6%) is a third of Seattle's (52%)
  • In Chicago a woman earns 90.9 cents for every dollar earned by a man, against a U.S. average of 76.7 cents. In Will County, it's 66.5 cents.
  • Mandated annual days off: Spain, 34 days, Finland 39 days, France 31 days, Canada 18 days, U.S. - 0. (The average Illinois worker gets 16.2 days a year.)
  • At 80.3%, Chicago ranks 25th in the U.S. for Broadband penetration (up, however, from 66.3% in the 2006 survey)
  • If Chicago's metro area was a country, its economy would be the 19th largest in the world.
  • Within Cook County, altercations over the use of ketchup on hot dogs accounted for 72 injuries, and one $72 million lawsuit filed by a Circuit Court Judge against the management of the Weiner's Circle over stains from flying mustard that he alleged ruined his lucky pair of pants.
  • 37% of the mummies in the Field Museum would rather be in Philadelphia.
  • 2006 marked the breakthrough year in which Chicago's traditional religious affiliations (Catholic, 29%, Protestant, 22%, and Jewish, 3%) were eclipsed by the Church of Oprah (33%, 39% during sweeps weeks).
  • 49% of business executives doing business with the city think Mayor Daley is wonderful, 22% think he's amazing, 14% think he's a really great-looking guy and a snappy dresser, to boot, 9% think he's the best thing since Jesus, and the remaining 6% simply pass out on the floor from anxiety whenever the question is asked.
There's a lot more where this came from - minus the more fanciful interpolations - with enough charts, maps and lists to make a factoidaholic think they've died and gone to the great Bureau of Statistics in the sky. You can check it out on-line, but this is one case where buying a paper copy is a must.

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