I used to live in the Chicago Area, from 1995 to 2001, then again in 2006. I stuck to the Gold Coast, Streeterville, and DuPage County areas. Although I lived in the upscale areas, I cannot say that I felt safe within any area of ChicagoLand. I will not go into any of the details about the crimes that I read while there, crimes that make Texas look like heaven on earth. Statistics show that Chicago already has 300+ murders in just this year.
Compared to Houston, there is no significant energy work in the Chicago Area that I can think of. There is UOP, the technology giant in Des Plaines; BP refinery in Whiting, IN; Citgo Refinery in Lemont, IL; and folks like Exxon and Dow out in Joliet, IL The Clark Refinery in Blue Island, IL was shutdown about 20 years ago.
When I was there, that area had no natural gas. It was all being piped in from the Gulf Coast. So, electrical energy is a big industry. They have huge energy companies like Commonwealth Edison.
I was scared when I lived there. Now, that area puts me in complete horror. Work is hard to come by these days – COVID and all. If you get an offer, you got to take it. I hope I am not called there.