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Workforce Growth and Slightly Rising Sales Taxes For Bloomington-Normal

BN Advantage
Sales tax receipts have risen marginally in the twin cities January through October in Bloomington Normal. Credit BN Advantage / Flickr

Sales tax revenues are up marginally in Bloomington-Normal, an increase of 1.4 percent through the first three quarters of the year.

That's according to Illinois Farm Bureau economist Mike Doherty, who is reporting to the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council on Thursday.

Doherty said Normal sales tax receipts are up 9.5 percent through October while Bloomington is down 4 percent compared to last year.

"People have talked about some of the store closings going on at Eastland Mall."

"People have talked about some of the store closings going on at Eastland Mall," said Doherty. "That's the only thing I can think of off hand that could account for the economic decrease in Bloomington." 

The size of the workforce has risen slightly, Doherty said, while the unemployment rate has cycled up to 4.1 percent as discouraged workers start looking for jobs again.

Doherty said unemployment continues to bounce along the beneficial bottom of the trough at 3.5 to 4.1 percent.

"Overall, Bloomington-Normal tax revenues were up by 1.4 percent. However it shook out with some softness on the labor side, there was some increased economic activity," said Doherty. 

Overall, Illinois added jobs in 10 metro areas according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Listen to the entire interview with Mike Doherty, including information on sales tax receipts.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.