Chico is the economic center of the Northern Sacramento Valley. Much of Chico's economy is powered by the California State University, Chico. Agriculture is also a significant part of the economy. Almonds, rice, olives, kiwis, peaches and plums are the major crops. The major employers are the government, education, social services, arts and entertainment, recreation, healthcare and accommodation and food service. About 26% of the workforce are sales and office workers and about 15% are employed by the government.
The most popular occupations in Chico in which the majority of the workers have a college degree are registered nurses, teachers, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, accountants and auditors, social and human service assistants and financial managers. Jobs which are more prevalent in Chico than most of the nation's other cities are brewery machine operators, tile and marble setters, education administrators, pest control workers, farm workers, office and administrative support personnel and protective service workers.
Noteworthy data about Chico: In 2007 the estimated median household income was $36,000. The cost of living index in 2008 was 106.2. The national average is 100. For the population over the age of 25, about 33% have a bachelor's degree or higher. The daytime population expands by about 23% due to people commuting from the surrounding area for work.
The top 10 manufacturing employers in Chico are:
- Sierra Nevada Brewery
- Koret of California
- SunGard Public Sector
- Aero Union
- Sunset Moulding Company
- Smucker Quality Beverages
- Lundberg Family Farms
- Norfield Industries
- JG Brattan
- Wrex Products
The top 10 non-manufacturing employers in Chico are:
- Enloe Medical Center
- Butte County
- California State University, Chico
- Chico Unified School District
- Tri Counties Bank
- Butte-Glenn Community College District
- Lifetouch National School Studios
- City of Chico
- Feather Falls Casino
- Employment Development Department
Business organizations offering assistance to Chico companies:
- Downtown Chico Business Association
- Chico Chamber of Commerce
- Butte College Small Business Development Center
The Chico Enterprise-Record provides up-to-date information about the business activities in Chico.