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B-N Hospitality Workers Rebound As Economy Reopens

'Now Hiring' sign on sidewalk
Emily Bollinger
The Bloomington-Normal area has added 4,400 jobs since May 2020.

Leisure and hospitality workers saw the most job gains in Bloomington-Normal since last year as the economy reopens from pandemic restrictions.

Data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security released Thursday show the leisure and hospitality sector in the Twin Cities added 2,500 jobs since May 2020. The area added about 4,400 jobs overall in the last year, despite a drop of about 400 people from the payroll last month.

Education and health services (+800) and manufacturing (+600) also saw job gains. The financial activities (-700) and government (-500) sectors lost jobs.

Bloomington-Normal's unemployment rate fell to 4.2%. That’s the lowest of any metro area in Illinois and down from 11.5% a year ago, when many businesses were closed or greatly restricted by COVID protocols.

The Peoria area added 11,000 jobs over the last year as its unemployment rate fell to 5.5% in May, according to IDES.

The Illinois jobless rate is 6.7%.

The Bloomington-Normal market reported 87,300 non-farm jobs in May.

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