B-N Sees Job Losses Ahead of COVID-19 Impact | WGLT

B-N Sees Job Losses Ahead of COVID-19 Impact

Mar 19, 2020

One of the last jobs report to precede the full impact COVID-19 is having on the Illinois economy shows job losses in McLean County, despite a drop in the unemployment rate.

Bloomington-Normal’s jobless rate dropped to 3.4% in January, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. That ties Bloomington-Normal with Champaign-Urbana as having the lowest unemployment in Illinois and marks a drop from 5.2% since January 2019.

Despite the drop in the jobless rate, the Bloomington-Normal market lost 700 non-farm jobs over the last year. McLean County saw job gains in financial activities (+400) and government (+100), but saw declines in professional and business services (-600) and leisure and hospitality (-300).

Non-farm jobs dropped in 10 of Illinois’ 14 metro areas since January last year. Champaign-Urbana saw the most year-to-year job growth, adding 2,000 jobs.

Unemployment dropped in 13 of the 14 metro areas over the last year.

January’s employment data precedes much of the job losses caused by the COVID-19 response that has forced many employers to at least temporarily close and layoff employees.

“As we enter this period of uncertainty, we remain committed to supporting working families,” Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes said in a news release.

The highest unemployment in the state is in Rockford at 8%. That city lost 6,300 jobs, due in part to layoffs at a Fiat Chrysler plant.

Unemployment in Illinois dropped to 4% in January, down from 5.3% a year ago, as the state added 9,100 jobs.

The national jobless rate stands at 3.5%.

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