While Illinois Excels in R&D Spending, Chicago Drops in R&D Employment
Research from the most recent edition of the Illinois Innovation Index shows that Illinois has performed well in private research and development spending. Citing a 56% increase in spending between 1998 and 2007, the Index reports that Illinois accounted for a greater share of national spending in a variety of important industries.
The Index, however, also reports that Chicago has fallen behind other metropolitan areas in terms of growth in R&D business establishments over the last decade. Between 2000 and 2010, Chicago R&D employment dropped from second in the nation to eighth out of all metropolitan statistical areas. While private R&D employment was at 38,000 in 2000, it fell to only 21,700 in 2010.
According to the Innovation Index, multiple factors could have contributed to the drop. Chicago’s manufacturing industry experienced a significant decline between 1998 and 2003, and much of the state’s private R&D was focused in that industry. In addition, R&D positions have shifted to rural areas and overseas as companies seek to save money.
The Index states that R&D employment is expected to recover to some extent over the next decade.
To view the February edition of the Illinois Innovation Index, click here.
To read a Crain’s Chicago Business article on the subject, click here.