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Rivian growth drives Bloomington-Normal jobs numbers

Rivian vehicles on a production line
Rivian has more than 7,000 employees at its plant in Normal.

The Bloomington-Normal labor market has the lowest unemployment rate of any metro area in Illinois and electric vehicle maker Rivian is a big reason why.

Data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) show the area, which includes McLean and DeWitt counties, added more than 2,400 manufacturing jobs since January 2022, and added 2,900 jobs overall.

According to IDES, the Twin Cities has 95,400 nonfarm workers on payrolls. The unemployment rate of 3.7% is up from 2.9% in December 2022, but down from 4.3% last January.

Rivian has added more than 2,000 jobs in the last year as it ramps up production. The plant in Normal has more than 7,400 workers, according to spokesperson Zach Dietmeier, making it the second largest employer in McLean County behind State Farm.

Leisure and hospitality also added 800 jobs in the Bloomington-Normal area in the last year. Government lost 1,600 jobs.

Professional and business services (-400) and the information (-100) sectors also lost jobs.

The statewide jobless rate in January was 4.7%. The unemployment rate decreased in all 14 metro areas of Illinois over the last year.

Kankakee has the highest jobless rate of 6.1%.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.