Chicago Area Workforce Spatial Analysis: Using GIS to Analyze Workforce Supply and Demand

Publication Date


Committee Chair

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Karen K. Kemp, Ph.D.
Clive Sabel, Ph.D.


This report outlines the proposed approach to analyzing access to job opportunities with the use of Geographic Information Systems by locating workforce supply and demand. Using Chicago’s Southeast Suburban Corridor as a case study, the Getis/Ord Gi* Statistic is employed to analyze clusters of jobs and workers and the linkages between the two. Workers and jobs are matched by three education levels (high school or less, some college or associate’s degree, and bachelor’s degree or higher). The distribution of workers in each educational level is compared to the location of jobs having similar educational requirements. After data collection and manipulation, the entire process is automated with the use of new tools in ESRI’s Spatial Statistics toolbox.

The study area includes the entire northeastern service area over which the Chicago Regional Transportation Authority oversees development. This area is comprised of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. Planning transportation for such an expansive and densely populated region involves extensive research and consideration of many factors. The methodology described in this report for determining the job to worker distribution at varying education levels can be used simply and efficiently to visually assess how effective a transportation line is at connecting people to jobs. By determining if proposed routes get people to their desired locations, transportation planners can increase the potential for success of new transit.

Full text is available at the University of Redlands


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