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B-N Job Losses Topped 5,000 in 2020

Help Wanted sign
Nam Y. Huh
In this May 5, 2020 file photo, a help wanted sign shows at Illinois Air Team Test Station in Lincolnshire, Ill.

Bloomington-Normal lost about 5,600 jobs in 2020 and the McLean County employment base shrunk again in December after six consecutive months of gains after the start of the coronavirus pandemic.The biggest job losses last year were in leisure and hospitality (down 2,300 jobs), followed by professional and business services (-1,300), government (-1,100) and educational-health services (-400), according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

The Twin Cities ended the year with an unemployment rate of 5.2%. That's up from 4.6% in November and nearly two points higher than in December 2019 (3.3%). The area’s jobless rate dropped from a pandemic high of 12.8% in April to 4.1% in October.

Bloomington-Normal was down 800 jobs last month, ending the year with 87,500 non-farm jobs, according to IDES.

Bloomington-Normal trailed Champaign-Urbana (5%) and the Quad Cities (5.1%) in having the lowest unemployment rate among metro areas in Illinois. The highest unemployment rate in the state is the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights market at 8.7%.

Unemployment in the Peoria area jumped from 4.7% at the end of 2019 to 6.8% at the end of 2020. The Pontiac-area unemployment rate rose to 4.7% in December, compared with 3.8% the year before.

Statewide, the jobless rate is 7.5%.

IDES said non-farm jobs dropped in all 14 metro areas of Illinois last year.

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