Laurel Duggan, DCNF
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story mistakenly referred to the hedge fund Citadel as Citadel Securities. It has since been corrected.
Several massive corporations are moving out of Chicago amid the city’s long-running struggle with violent crime.
Tyson Foods announced its plan Wednesday to exit Chicago for Arkansas, joining a string of large companies leaving the Windy City in the past year. The corporate exodus coincides with rising crime rates over the past two years.
Chicago saw a 40% increase in crime from 2021 to 2022, including a 56% increase in sexual assault reports, a 15% increase in robberies, a 52% increase in thefts and a 132% increase in motor vehicle thefts. Last weekend alone, 34 people were shot in Chicago; in several other weekends this year the number has been higher than 50.
Boeing, a global aerospace company that produces airplanes and defense-related products, announced plans to move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia May 5, though the company will maintain a presence in Chicago. Caterpillar announced plans to relocate its headquarters from Chicago to Irving, Texas the following month.
“We believe it’s in the best strategic interest of the company to make this move, which supports Caterpillar’s strategy for profitable growth as we help our customers build a better, more sustainable world,” Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby said in a press release. (RELATED: Desperate Blue City To Hire Civilians Amid Police Shortage, Violent Crime Spike)
Citadel, a $51 billion hedge fund, announced plans to move its headquarters from Chicago to Miami in June. United Airlines announced plans to relocate nearly 1,000 employees out of Chicago in December 2021.
While most of the corporations didn’t mention crime when announcing their plans to leave, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski raised eyebrows for a recent speech about the crisis of crime in Chicago, where the corporation’s headquarters are located. He pointed to drug abuse, violent crime and homelessness as business challenges that made it difficult for companies to attract talent.
“There is a general sense out there that our city is in crisis,” Kempczinski said in a September speech, according to Fox Business. “The fact is that there are fewer large companies headquartered in Chicago this year than last year. There are fewer this month than last month … truth is, it’s more difficult for me to recruit a new employee to McDonald’s to join us in Chicago than it was in the past.”
The City of Chicago did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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