A Twin City economics professor says aggressive action by Congress and the Federal Reserve helped spare an economic calamity during the pandemic. But Mike Seeborg at Illinois Wesleyan University said it will be too costly to continue these financial lifelines much longer.
Another 2,800 people in the Bloomington-Normal area filed for jobless benefits for the first time in May, fewer than the two previous months but still worse than at the peak of the Great Recession, the state reported Thursday.
Bloomington Normal's unemployment rate dropped a full point from November of last year, down to 3.1%. But the Illinois Department of Employment Security also reports the size of the workforce was unchanged over the 12-month period at 93,500.
State estimates indicate 3,000 people were out of work and looking for a job in November 2019. That’s lower than for most months of the year.
Four years ago, the big story in the Bloomington-Normal economy was the closure of Mitsubishi’s manufacturing plant and the loss of 1,200 jobs. Some workers got retrained and found new jobs. Others left the area forever.