Bloomington-Normal's jobless rate stayed in the double digits for a second straight month in May, as economic fallout from COVID-19 continued.
The Bloomington-Normal area's unemployment rate was 10.9% in May, up from 3.2% this time a year ago, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday. While a sharp increase, it wasn't as bad as what Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, and Carbondale-Marion experienced.
Bloomington-Normal lost around 9,900 jobs between May 2019 and May 2020, IDES reported. The largest declines were reported in Leisure-Hospitality (-4,900), Government (-1,400), Professional-Business Services (-1,200), and Retail Trade (-1,000), IDES reported.
The double-digit jobless rate was not unexpected given the economic pressures of COVID-19. Initial jobless claims filed by McLean County residents between March and May suggest over 13,000 people lost a job at some point during the pandemic.
More employers are expected to bring workers back after Illinois begins Phase 4 of the governor's reopening plan on Friday.
The statewide jobless rate was 14.7% in May. The U.S. average was 13%. Bloomington-Normal's jobless rate in April 2020 was 12.8%.
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