Unemployment in Bloomington-Normal fell for the sixth straight month in October, but data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) show thousands of jobs still haven’t returned since the pandemic began.
According to IDES, Bloomington-Normal’s jobless rate dropped to 4.1% in October. That’s down from 6.3% in September and down substantially from the April high of 12.8%.
The Twin Cities’ unemployment rate is higher than the October 2019 mark of 3.4%. Over the last year, the area has lost 5,900 non-farm jobs. IDES said the largest drops were in in Leisure-Hospitality (-2,400), Professional-Business Services (-1,300), Government (-900), and Educational-Health Services (-500).
The Twin City area also saw a surge in filing for jobless benefits in October. IDES said 2,567 workers filed new unemployment claims in October. That’s the highest monthly total since May.
Bloomington-Normal ties Champaign-Urbana with the lowest unemployment rate among metro areas in Illinois. The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights market has the highest jobless rate at 7.8%.
All 14 metro area in Illinois have higher unemployment and fewer jobs than a year ago.
Statewide unemployment for October stands at 6.8%, down from 9.8% in September. The national jobless rate is 6.9%, down from 7.7% the previous month.
Editor's note: WGLT corrected the story to reflect Bloomington-Normal's unemployment rate was 3.4% in Oct. 2019.
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