Bloomington-Normal’s jobless rate fell again in October, with employers adding around 400 jobs over the past year, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.
The Bloomington-Normal area’s unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in October, down from 4.3% this time a year ago, IDES reported. The statewide jobless rate was 3.6%, and 3.3% nationally.
Bloomington-Normal now has around 94,000 nonfarm jobs, up 400 from October 2018. The biggest gains, by sector, were in Leisure and Hospitality (+500 positions) and Retail Trade (+200). The biggest losses were in Manufacturing, which lost 400 positions in the past year.
“Communities in every corner of the state have experienced sustained job growth throughout this year. By passing the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan and legislation like the minimum wage increase, Governor Pritzker is ensuring the state’s economy continues to thrive,” Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes said in a statement Thursday.
Economist tend to point to longer term trends such as the retirement of the baby boom generation to explain part of the drop in the unemployment rate tied to fewer people seeking jobs.
There were 3,350 unemployed people in the Bloomington-Normal area’s labor force in October. That is about 500 fewer than at the same time in 2018.
There were an estimated 7,600 hundred people out of work in the Peoria area and looking for a job last month. That amounts to a 4.2% unemployment rate for October. That's down by .7% from the same month last year.
But, the number of people working in the Peoria area also fell by about 1,500 people at the same time.
The Peoria area labor market was one of only two major metro areas in the state to shrink in October.
The State said Peoria area job growth came in the Education and Health Services, government, transportation, and wholesale trade sectors. The number of jobs declined in the Leisure and Hospitality, manufacturing, retail trade, construction, and financial activity areas.
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