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B-N Adds Nearly 5,000 Jobs Since Peak Of COVID Shutdowns

'Closed' sign on store window
Emily Bollinger
Bloomington-Normal has added 4,900 jobs since the peak of COVID shutdowns last spring.

Bloomington-Normal has added nearly 5,000 jobs over the last year as the economy slowly emerges from COVID-related shutdowns.

The Twin Cities picked up about 1,300 jobs from March to April to bring its unemployment rate down to 4.8%, the lowest mark since November, according to data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

The leisure-hospitality sector saw the biggest improvement over the last year (+2,700 jobs). Educational-Healthcare Services (+2,500) and retail trade (+900) also saw notable improvements since April 2020. Financial activities (-1,100) and government (-700) saw the biggest job losses over the last year.

Bloomington-Normal’s jobless rate ties Champaign-Urbana for the lowest in all of Illinois’ 14 metro areas. IDES said Bloomington-Normal ended April with 87,700 non-farm jobs.

The statewide jobless rate is still above 7%. Rockford has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 9.7%.

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