Atlanta, GA

The Atlanta metropolitan area is the eighth-largest economy in the country and 17th-largest in the world. Corporate operations comprise a large portion of the Atlanta’s economy, with the city serving as the regional, national, or global headquarters for many corporations. Atlanta contains the country’s third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and the city is the global headquarters of corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, UPS, and Newell-Rubbermaid. Over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies conduct business operations in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and the region hosts offices of about 1,250 multinational corporations. Many corporations are drawn to Atlanta on account of the city’s educated workforce; nearly 43% of adults in the city of Atlanta have college degrees, compared to 27% in the nation as a whole and 41% in Boston. Delta Air Lines, the city’s largest employer and the metro area’s third largest, operates the world’s largest airline hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and has helped make Hartsfield-Jackson the world’s busiest airport, both in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft operations. Media is also an important aspect of Atlanta’s economy. The city is a major cable television programming center. Information technology, an economic sector that includes publishing, software development, entertainment and data processing has, garnered a larger percentage of Atlanta’s economic output. Indeed, Atlanta contains the fourth-largest concentration of information technology jobs in the United States.

Chicago, IL

Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States. The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States, due to its high level of diversification. Chicago is a major world financial center, with the second largest central business district in the United States. The city is the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (the Seventh District of the Federal Reserve). The city and its surrounding metropolitan area are home to the second largest labor pool in the United States with approximately 4.25 million workers. In addition, the state of Illinois is home to 66 Fortune 1000 companies, including those in Chicago.

Cleveland, OH

Several Fortune 1000 companies make Cleveland their home. It is a major manufacturing and commercial center, one of the primary ports on the Great Lakes, and a collecting point for highway and railroad traffic from the Midwest. The health and medical field Is the largest employer in Northeast Ohio, and Cleveland is one of the nation’s leading medical centers with 60 hospitals in the region. Cleveland Clinic’s health care was ranked #1 in the United States for the 19th consecutive year, and the city is home to one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals. Entrepreneur Magazine recently ranked Cleveland higher than San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, and New York as a site for entrepreneurship, and more than 700 biomedical and biotechnology firms make it their home. The Cleveland region will add 123,000 jobs by 2025, and food manufacturing will play a big role in that growth. That sector contributes $2.6 billion dollars in economic activity, due to its central location and proximity to rural land. Manufacturing built Cleveland and still remains an important part of the economy. Auto manufacturing is strong, thanks to healthy sales, while steel and energy are relatively weak. Le Bron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers did more than strengthen the basketball team. Locals speak of the “LeBron Effect’ and the impact the return of the local hero had on the economy. Initial estimates of a $500 million bump were likely optimistic, but it remains true that ticket sales, bar and restaurant revenues, and souvenir sales increased substantially, which also affected tax revenues. Perhaps the largest impact was the result of increased local confidence and visibility on the global stage as a result of the Cavaliers winning their first NBA Championship.

Columbus, OH

Columbus has a generally strong and diverse economy based on education, insurance, banking, fashion, defense, aviation, food, logistics, steel, energy, medical research, health care, hospitality, retail, and technology. the city had four corporations named to the U.S. Fortune 500 list including Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, American Electric Power, L Brands, and Big Lots with Cardinal Health located in suburban Dublin. Other major employers in the area include numerous schools and hospitals, hi-tech research and development including the Battelle Memorial Institute, information/library companies such as OCLC and Chemical Abstracts, financial institutions such as JP Morgan Chase and Huntington Bancshares, as well as Owens Corning and Wendy’s. Major foreign corporations operating or with divisions in the city include Germany-based Siemens and Roxane Laboratories, Finland-based Vaisala, Japan-based Techneglas, Inc., Tomasco Mulciber Inc., A Y Manufacturing, as well as Switzerland-based ABB Group and Mettler Toledo.

Detroit, MI

The city of Detroit has made efforts to lure the region’s growth companies downtown with advantages such as a wireless Internet zone, business tax incentives, entertainment, the Detroit International Riverfront, and residential high-rises. Compuware completed its world headquarters in downtown Detroit. OnStar, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and HP Enterprise Services have located at the Renaissance Center. Price Waterhouse Coopers Plaza offices are adjacent to Ford Field, and Ernst & Young completed its office building at One Kennedy Square. Some Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Detroit include General Motors, auto parts maker American Axle & Manufacturing, and DTE Energy. Other major industries include advertising, law, finance, biomedical research, health care, and computer software. The law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, one of the largest in the U.S., has offices in both Detroit and Windsor. Wayne State University and medical service providers are major employers in the city.