KANKAKEE, IL – October 18, 2016 – Updated full-time employee counts for Kankakee County’s top 60 manufacturers, logistics firms and institutions were released today by the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County. The Alliance has been tracking FTE count since 2010, reporting annually for local and prospective industrial and commercial developers.
“The employee numbers that we track represent 15,641 jobs, which is approximately 30 percent of our county’s total employment as of August 2016,” explained Alliance President and CEO Tim Nugent. “This FTE report is one of our most requested, as it clearly shows the industrial makeup of our county and indicates how sectors expand and contract, in terms of jobs numbers, over time.”
The complete Kankakee County FTE listing can be found at kankakeecountyed.org/major-industries.
“Preliminarily, we are showing year-over-year growth of 200 jobs,” Nugent continued. “This is fairly consistent with the most recent Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) employment report, which indicated year-over-year growth of 500 jobs for Kankakee County.”
While Kankakee County experienced the announced closure of three of its top employers in 2015-16 – Bunge Oils, Space Center Distribution and Merisant – preliminary data indicate that new business attraction and existing business expansion outweighed layoffs during the past 12 months.
Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) has reported approximately 3,000 job postings for Kankakee County for each of the last 18 months. Access the most recent version of that report at workkankakee.org/hiring-snapshot/.
“Most of our large employers are expanding or are preparing to expand,” Nugent explained. “It’s our job to help get the word out about these local employment opportunities and ensure that high-quality training is available at all levels.”
Employer trends and highlights include:
- Continuing global corporate consolidation,
- Technology shifting the makeup and types of manufacturing/logistics jobs available,
- Local wage pressure and corresponding wage increases,
- Strong bioscience sector growth, led by CSL Behring,
- Strong food processing sector growth, led by Van Drunen Farms, FutureCeuticals and Del Monte,
- Strong health care sector growth, led by Riverside Healthcare,
- Education sector growth,
- Fewer jobs in the logistics sector due to automation,
- Steadiness in the metals sector, which saw the addition ABC Coating at Manteno’s Diversatech Business Park in 2016.
Kankakee County’s jobs growth is one in a basket of positive current economic indicators, including unemployment that has fallen from 14 percent in 2010 to 6.1 percent in August, export growth of 74 percent from 2014 to 2015, skilled job growth of 8 percent from 2011 to 2015, and gross domestic product growth from $3.3 billion in 2010 to $3.9 billion last year.
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a public-private partnership that works to create jobs and expand the economic base by improving the local business climate. Working under Kankakee County’s 2014-19 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), the Alliance is challenged to help spur $500 million in new business investment and 500 new jobs, along with assisting 150 prospective new businesses. For more information, visit kankakeecountyed.org or phone 815.935.1177.