Illinois has the fifth-largest state economy (by GDP), but we have the 3rd highest unemployment numbers in the nation. Illinois has 37 companies in the Fortune 500 list (several make the Top 100, and hundreds of companies in the Top 5000), but we have a seemingly never-ending budget crisis in state government, and we lead the nation in out-bound migration. But, what about Rockford in particular? Where do we rank in terms of appeal for those seeking a job?

According to a new study by WalletHub, the answer would appear to be "not so great, but it could be worse."

WalletHub took a look at the "job-seeker friendliness" of 162 Illinois cities, looking at overall "labor-market health" based on 16 key indicators like “employment growth” to “median monthly starting salary” to “unemployment rate.”

Here's WalletHub's top ten best Illinois cities for jobs, along with their overall score from 1-100:

  1. Libertyville (68.35)
  2. Gray's Lake (68.02)
  3. Frankfort (67.71)
  4. Northbrook (66.92)
  5. Vernon Hills (66.60)
  6. Schaumburg (66.38)
  7. Deerfield (64.16)
  8. South Elgin (63.99)
  9. Lamont (63.91)
  10. Downers Grove (63.73)

And, a look at some numbers from our part of the state:

69. Machesney Park (55.58)

93. Loves Park (53.67)

128. Freeport (49.75)

142. Belvidere (46.94)

144. Rockford (46.60)

150. Dekalb (45.80)

Here's WalletHub's breakdown on Rockford's numbers:

Rockford’s Job Market (1=Best; 81=Avg.)
80th – Job Opportunities
83rd – Median Starting Salary (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
140th – % of Workers with Private Health Insurance
115th – Unemployment Rate for High School Graduates
135th – Unemployment Rate for Residents with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree
144th – Crime Rate
84th – Housing Affordability
54th – Social Life

For the full report on job friendliness in Illinois, click here.