These Are The 10 Cities In Illinois With The Lowest Unemployment Rate

By Chris Kolmar
Jul. 19, 2017

Find a Job You Really Want In


If you find yourself dissatisfied with where your career is, but not your home, you might be looking for a new job within your community — but how hard will finding one be in your hometown? To help, we present to you the cities in Illinois with the strongest job markets by unemployment rates.

Many people live where they do because a job brought them there, but if you’re trying to live up to a millennial stereotype and move to Illinois for some arbitrary reason… or even looking for a new job or moving to a state first and getting a job after, then the job market’s strength is especially important for you.

Well we went to the source of all things demographic data – the Census – to figure out which cities have the lowest unemployment. We set a threshold of city population and found data for each city in the Prairie State and crunched the numbers to find the cream of the crop:

  1. Waterloo(Jobs)
  2. Western Springs(Jobs)
  3. St. Charles
  4. Washington(Jobs)
  5. Winnetka(Jobs)
  6. Grayslake(Jobs)
  7. Prospect Heights(Jobs)
  8. Morton(Jobs)
  9. Libertyville(Jobs)
  10. Plainfield(Jobs)

Even if you’re an employer looking for a strong community to relocate to, a highly employed population is a powerful indicator of a community’s overall health. And, in that regard, Waterloo takes the cake as the place in Illinois with the lowest unemployment rate.

Read on to see how we help you identify those places in Illinois that have the most robust job force.

Or for more Illinois job information, check out:

How We Determined The Cities In Illinois With The Lowest Unemployment Rates

Before we could dive into what Illinois’s most employed cities were, we needed to know where to look in the first place. We settled upon any place with over 10,000 people and data available for our criteria.

This left us with 220 places in Illinois.

We then looked at the unemployment rates to determine the cream from the crop when it comes to low unemployment, and our data comes directly from the latest American Community Survey from the Census.

We thought the rate alone was representative of the current state of each city’s job market with the potential for a person to get a job there, whether they were making an intrastate, interstate, or intercity job transfer.

We ranked all the cities for the criteria from one to 220 with one being the “most employed city in Illinois”. Where there was a tie, the winner went to the bigger city.

If your city or town isn’t among the top ten, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart. Otherwise, learn more about how the top ten cities achieved their potential.

1. Waterloo

Population: 10,102
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Waterloo comes in at the top of our list, taking the cake and not sharing a bit of it with only 3.1 percent unemployment, easily blowing away the competition as the top contender.

Certain perks come with being the gold medalist like always having a job.

2. Western Springs

Population: 13,066
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
You might say that second place is actually the first place loser, but Western Springs doesn’t… because it doesn’t look nearly as good on a dating profile as as “first runner-up” or “silver medalist”.

3. St. Charles

Population: 33,422
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
And rounding out our champions’ podium is St. Charles, earning the bronze medal with a score of 3.7 percent in the unemployment rate category.

4. Washington

Population: 15,525
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Following right behind in the number four slot is Washington. With a population of 15525 residents, Washington is a solid place to move in Illinois if you plan on getting your career search started.

5. Winnetka

Population: 12,366
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
The coveted #5 spot has fallen to the residents in Winnetka. Numbering around 12366 people, this city is doing it big with decidedly desirable unemployment rate of 3.9%.

I’m really happy for them, you know, what with their stable careers and all.

6. Grayslake

Population: 20,863
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
The city of Grayslake is coming in at #6 with some solid numbers — not enough to blow you away, but enough to make you think twice about moving to another city you were thinking of just because of the dog parks.

7. Prospect Heights

Population: 16,344
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Taking the bittersweet #7 spot is the town of Prospect Heights. With a unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, this city is doing big things like a boss — like the one that’ll be hiring you in this solid job market.

8. Morton

Population: 16,493
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Coming in at #8, Morton has a job market strong enough to tempt people away from some of Illinois’s flashier cities where the unemployment rate isn’t as competitive.

9. Libertyville

Population: 20,398
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Finishing strong at #9 the town of Libertyville, where the unemployment rate is strong enough to keep this city, which is not at allknown as “The City of Hopes and Dreams”, but should consider adopting it.

10. Plainfield

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,641
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Rounding out our list and coming in at #10 is the city of Plainfield, Illinois. Don’t forget, just because it’s last place in this top ten list, that’s still out of 220.

Plainfield’s parents are still proud of its life choices.

There You Have It – Unemployment Across Illinois

There you have it folks, the Ten Cities With the Lowest Unemployment in the state of {state}. They have the numbers and jobs to back it up.

If you’re just dying to move to the {nickname} and feel like throwing caution to the wind and moving-first- getting-employed-later, stick to the cities in our top ten.

If you’d like more information on different cities and states around the U.S. be sure to visit to have all of your questions answered — and if you’re a recent college graduate thinking about moving states, check out which states college grads tend to stay in and which states they abandon.

Here’s a quick look are the places in Illinois with the highest unemployment rate:

  1. Dolton
  2. Harvey
  3. Riverdale

Detailed List Of Cities With The Lowest Unemployment In Illinois

City Rank Unemployment
Waterloo 1 3.1%
Western Springs 2 3.3%
St. Charles 3 3.7%
Washington 4 3.7%
Winnetka 5 3.9%
Grayslake 6 4.2%
Prospect Heights 7 4.3%
Morton 8 4.3%
Libertyville 9 4.3%
Plainfield 10 4.5%
Wilmette 11 4.5%
River Forest 12 4.5%
Huntley 13 4.6%
Glenview 14 4.7%
Oswego 15 4.7%
Normal 16 4.8%
Lincolnwood 17 4.8%
Northbrook 18 4.9%
Deerfield 19 5.0%
South Elgin 20 5.1%
Chatham 21 5.1%
Campton Hills 22 5.2%
Burr Ridge 23 5.2%
Park Ridge 24 5.2%
Highland Park 25 5.2%
Yorkville 26 5.3%
Elk Grove Village 27 5.4%
Mokena 28 5.4%
Antioch 29 5.4%
Bartlett 30 5.5%
Roscoe 31 5.5%
Glen Carbon 32 5.5%
East Peoria 33 5.6%
Wheaton 34 5.7%
Bloomingdale 35 5.7%
Homer Glen 36 5.7%
Barrington 37 5.8%
Arlington Heights 38 5.8%
Schaumburg 39 5.9%
Tinley Park 40 5.9%
Lake Forest 41 5.9%
Fairview Heights 42 5.9%
Wheeling 43 5.9%
Hinsdale 44 5.9%
Morton Grove 45 6.0%
Hoffman Estates 46 6.0%
Palatine 47 6.0%
Crystal Lake 48 6.0%
Shiloh 49 6.1%
Elmhurst 50 6.1%
Edwardsville 51 6.1%
Gurnee 52 6.1%
Brookfield 53 6.1%
Naperville 54 6.2%
Buffalo Grove 55 6.2%
Mount Prospect 56 6.2%
Frankfort 57 6.2%
Norridge 58 6.3%
Vernon Hills 59 6.3%
La Grange 60 6.3%
Bloomington 61 6.3%
New Lenox 62 6.3%
Swansea 63 6.4%
Canton 64 6.4%
Westchester 65 6.4%
Des Plaines 66 6.4%
Sycamore 67 6.5%
Marion 68 6.5%
North Aurora 69 6.5%
Effingham 70 6.5%
Roselle 71 6.5%
Lake Zurich 72 6.5%
Northlake 73 6.5%
Bolingbrook 74 6.6%
Woodridge 75 6.7%
La Grange Park 76 6.7%
Pontiac 77 6.7%
Downers Grove 78 6.7%
Round Lake 79 6.8%
Lombard 80 6.8%
Darien 81 6.8%
Taylorville 82 6.8%
Geneva 83 6.9%
Wauconda 84 6.9%
Orland Park 85 6.9%
Romeoville 86 7.0%
Palos Hills 87 7.0%
Pekin 88 7.0%
Channahon 89 7.1%
Champaign 90 7.1%
Bourbonnais 91 7.2%
Carol Stream 92 7.2%
Niles 93 7.2%
Montgomery 94 7.3%
Lake In The Hills 95 7.3%
Lindenhurst 96 7.3%
Dixon 97 7.3%
Evanston 98 7.3%
Plano 99 7.4%
Moline 100 7.4%

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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