The Bloomington Normal unemployment rate edged under 5% last month. The 4.8% jobless rate is down slightly from a year ago. The Department of Employment Security says there were an estimated 4,800 unemployed people in the metro area looking for jobs. The last time the October rate was this low was in 2007 when it was more than a point below the current mark. There were job gains for the month in retail trade, and professional and business services and losses in government, construction, and manufacturing. Peoria's unemployment rate was 6.6%, up four tenths of a point from last year at this time.
Illinois Businesses lost jobs in seven metro areas including Peoria last month and gained jobs compared to last year in six major cities including Bloomington Normal. State Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays says we are grateful for every job gained since the recovery began in 2009, but too few Illinoisians are feeling the turnaround.