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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Employment Update and Strategies for Securing Additional Workers Needed


In reviewing the most recent Illinois Department of Employment Security unemployment report, Naperville has a lower unemployment rate than most surrounding communities as well as rates far below those of the same period in 2020 and 2021. Below are some general comparisons:

February 2022 (latest reporting period)

Area Unemployment Rate
City of Naperville 2.3%
City of Aurora 4.7%
City of Chicago 5.4%
DuPage County 3.2%
Will County 4.6%
IL Statewide 5.0%

Despite the positive projections for unemployment, the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC) continues to hear from large and small businesses that finding workers continues to be a struggle. In addressing these concerns at the Chamber, we have identified some beneficial strategies for employers to consider to address their workforce needs.

Explore an Applicant Tracking System (ATS): A candidate relationship management system software allows for posting jobs on several online job boards, electronically matching applicant skill sets with open positions, administering assessment tools, automated email communications with all candidates in the pipeline, as well as interview scheduling and more.

Invest in Your Current Workforce: Making sure your current employees are content and will be retained is a key advantage in this competitive market for any size business. Employees, especially our younger workforce, want their company’s mission to align with the personal values. Research also demonstrates a link between trust and economic performance. High-trust companies report fewer sick days, reduced turnover, etc. Furthermore, rewards and recognition beyond pay increases and promotion go a long way toward employee retention. An additional consideration is the adage, “employees don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” Ensuring effective two-way communication among management levels within an organization is important. This could include regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings, surveys, and exit interviews.

Look at “Second Chance” Employees: There is compelling data that the large population of formally incarcerated residents returning to the community can offer an employer talent, loyalty, and motivation. In addition, there are tax credits and liability protections to further support the hiring of this potential pipeline of workers.

The NACC will continue to explore strategies employers can use to secure the workers they need to operate at full capacity as we continue movement towards the next level of economic recovery.


U.S. Chamber,  How to Effectively Hire and Retain Employees, by Lauren Wingo


Entrepreneur, 3 Critical Components That Dramatically Improve Company Culture, by Donna Peeples, November 3, 2021


NACC recent webinar on Hiring Second Chance Employees: 

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Reba Morgan Osborne
Reba Morgan Osbornehttp://naperville.net
Reba Morgan Osborne is the Director of Government Affairs for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact Reba at (630) 544-3387 or rosborne@naperville.net.