The Bloomington-Normal area economy has nearly 6,000 fewer jobs than it did a year ago, another sign that the pandemic’s economic impact is still very much being felt.
There were 88,300 nonfarm jobs in the Bloomington-Normal area in November, down 5,900 positions from a year ago, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Wednesday.
The steepest declines have been in the leisure and hospitality sector, which has lost 2,000 jobs in the past year, according to IDES. That’s restaurants, bars, hotels and the arts. Also still struggling are Professional and Business Services (-1,200 jobs), Government (-1,000), and Education-Health Services (-700).
Meanwhile, about 4,000 people in the Bloomington-Normal area filed first-time jobless claims in November, increasing for the third straight month, IDES reported. The peak was 5,253 filings in April.
The local jobless rate was 4.6% in November, up from 3.2% a year ago. The peak was 12.8%, also in April, as the pandemic first arrived and led to the governor’s statewide stay-at-home order.
Bloomington-Normal’s jobless rate is the second-lowest for any metro area in Illinois, behind only Champaign-Urbana (4.5%), another college town that’s home to the University of Illinois.
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