The Illinois Department of Employment Security reports the jobless rate dropped in September in all of the metro areas the agency tracks. But the department's director says job growth remains weak.
The Bloomington Normal unemployment rate is 4.3% down from 5% in September of last year. That's the lowest rate for September since 2007 when it was 3.9% in the twin cities. The metro area rate is the lowest in the state.
The department says unemployment fell in all 14 metro areas. It was the 19th straight month of across-the board improvement. Bloomington Normal added about 700 jobs over the year. Bloomington Normal retailers added jobs last month compared to September of last year. So did twin cities Professional and business services, the leisure sector, education, and healthcare. The total added in those parts of the McLean County economy was 2,300 jobs. But, the gains were offset by 900 job losses in construction, government, and manufacturing, and minor changes in other sectors.
The report notes eight metro areas lost jobs. They included manufacturing hubs of Decatur and Peoria.
Department Director Jeff Mays says unemployment claims indicate the labor market may get worse in the months ahead.