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Bloomington-Normal jobless rate drops below 4%

Virus Outbreak Illinois Unemployment
Nam Y. Huh/AP
A man checks information in front of Illinois Department of Employment Security in Chicago, Thursday, April 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bloomington-Normal added 3,500 jobs over the last year, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

The Twin City jobless rate dropped nearly a full point over the last year, from 4.8% in August 2021 to 3.9% in August 2022. That's the second lowest in Illinois behind the Quad Cities.

Government (+900), construction (+600) and leisure and hospitality (+600) saw the biggest job gains in McLean County over the last year, along with retail trade (+500). No sectors saw a net loss of jobs in the last year in the Bloomington-Normal market area that includes McLean and DeWitt counties.

The statewide jobless rate is 4.8%. The unemployment rate decreased in all 14 Illinois metropolitan areas in August. Rockford has the highest jobless rate at 6.8%.

Job data lag

The data also show a significant lag in all those jobs that electric vehicle-maker Rivian and other employers added last year as economic developers suggested. Updated figures show Bloomington-Normal had about 3,700 more jobs (90.200) last summer than first projected.

Labor data now show Bloomington-Normal has a non-farm payroll of 93,700.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at