Most in-demand jobs in Illinois 2021

Illinois had its worst year for jobs on record, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. The state lost about 7 percent—or 420,000 jobs—from December 2019 to December 2020. Hardest hit were hospitality and leisure jobs, which were down 32 percent. With the exception of construction employment, every single sector in the state’s economy declined, according to the institute.

Still, it’s not all bad news.

Fifty-one percent of companies plan to hire in 2021, according to Robert Half.

“For many companies, how they work may be different, but the volume of work continues, often with an even faster pace because the environment is shifting constantly,” Reisdorf says.

An overall trend has been the spike in contract hiring. In an uncertain economy, firms often rely more on contract professionals.

“They may feel cautious about hiring, but at the same time, they don’t want to be understaffed and have work that must get done.”

There are also jobs that are in demand now that weren’t before the pandemic, so companies are struggling to fill those positions with talent. These include relatively well-paying jobs, such as loan processing, grant administration and mortgage industry roles, Reisdorf says.

Crain’s spoke with recruiters, hiring companies and employers to identify the 10 hottest well-paying (over $50,000) jobs in Illinois in 2021. Note that the number of job openings is a national number, based on Glassdoor’s Best Jobs in America 2021 study.

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