Chicago manufacturing activity grew in February

The Chicago Business Barometer, which measures manufacturing activity in the Chicagoland area, increased over the past month. The Barometer, released in the monthly MNI Chicago Report, increased to 59.8 in February, a jump from January's reading of 59.6.

The increase in February is the first jump since October 2013, and the highest reading since March 2011. The gain over the past month is due to an employment growth, which had increased from 49.2 to 59.3 in February. Phillip Uglow, chief economist at MNI Indicators, said in a statement the industry is projected to grow over the next few months.

"The latest Chicago Report confirms that the US economic recovery continued in February, with new orders and production remaining at high levels," Uglow said. "In line with the pick-up in demand, firms continued to rebuild inventory and just over 50 percent of respondents said they planned to increase stock levels over the next three months."

Although the overall reading increased, some subindexes decreased over the past month. The prices-paid subindex fell from January's reading from 64.9 to 59.1.

Manufacturers who are looking to add experienced workers to their staffs can use operations recruiters to help them in their search.