The December unemployment rate rose by more than half a point in the Bloomington Normal area last month compared to a year ago. The December rate was was 5.4%. The Department of Employment Security says the Peoria jobless rate was seven percent, also a significant increase from last year.
Department Director Jeff Mays says many metro areas in the state took job hits. Both Peoria and Bloomington Normal had slight increases in the workforce over the 12 month period.
Peoria still has more than 13,000 people out of work and looking for a job. Bloomington Normal has 5,400. That does not count so-called discouraged workers who have stopped applying for jobs.
The Government and construction sectors were the biggest job losers in the Bloomington Normal economy. The Department of Employment Security says sectors that increased jobs included retail, leisure, education and health, and the largest gainer was business and professional services.