There are 16,000 fewer jobs in the Peoria area than there was this time last year — a sign of just how large the pandemic looms over the local economy.
There were just 154,800 nonfarm jobs in the Peoria area in October, down 9.8% from that time in 2019, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Wednesday.
About half of that loss came in just one industry: leisure and hospitality. That's restaurants, bars, hotels, artists and museums. It shrunk by 8,300 jobs year-over-year.
There were 5,600 people from the Peoria area seeking jobless benefits for the first time in October, according to IDES. That's about double what it was in September, when they started to tick up again after months on the decline.
“As the state works to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect residents from this deadly virus, IDES will continue to provide services to claimants, job-seekers, and employers as fast as possible,” Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes said in a statement. “We also need the federal government to take action. Every metro area and its claimants will be impacted by the expiration of the federal CARES Act unemployment programs in just a few short weeks and IDES and the Pritzker administration will continue to call on the federal government to provide claimant stability through the end of this pandemic.”
The Peoria area's jobless rate was 5.5% in October. That's up slightly from this time a year ago. (The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment.)