First Quarter Economic Report Shows Surge of New Business in DuPage County


DuPage County economy flourishing; unemployment rate remains lowest in region while industrial and office vacancies attract new business


The 2016 First Quarter Economic Indicators Report confirms DuPage County’s thriving business climate due to its low unemployment rate, growing business sector and declining office and industrial vacancy rates. The report findings further indicate an estimated $350 million opportunity for retail expansion to meet current consumer demand; a substantial growth opportunity for additional business development. 


2016 First Quarter Economic Indicators Report Highlights:


  • DuPage County continues to maintain the lowest unemployment rate in the Chicagoland region at 5.3%; far below the state’s 6.8% unemployment rate.
  • DuPage County industrial vacancy rates have decreased to 4.8% compared to 5.6% at the same time in 2015; 1.9 million square feet of industrial space has been absorbed in just the first quarter of 2016 showing strong industrial development.
  • DuPage County office vacancy rates have also decreased by 0.9% over the past year with 522,000 square feet of office space being absorbed in the first quarter; space is being acquired by new businesses moving into the area as well as the expansion of existing DuPage businesses.
  • DuPage County has an estimated $350 million retail growth opportunity to meet current consumer demand from its nearly one million residents.


“This report highlights DuPage County as a premier business location with enormous retail development potential and space for commerce to grow,” said John Carpenter, president and CEO of Choose DuPage. “We have a population of almost a million people in DuPage—including a highly skilled workforce. New businesses continue to make DuPage their home, while local industries remain strong and continue to expand and grow their footprint. There is a great opportunity to be cultivated here.”


DuPage County has shown promising activity in the first quarter of 2016 with new developments coming to the area including Minneapolis-based developer Ryan Companies’ purchase of an 11-acre Oak Brook property with proximity to both I-88 and I-294 which it plans to transform into a major 300,000 to 400,000 square foot multi-building office development. Local leading accounting, advisory and technology firm Sikich increased its total footprint in Naperville by 50%, while other local companies including AMITA Health and ConPac Group signed new leases in the area. In just the first three months of the year, a combined total of more than 2.4 million net square feet of office and industrial space was absorbed indicating positive development and further growth for DuPage County.


The report was compiled from Choose DuPage member data and professional economic data provider EMSI.