Unemployment | WGLT

Unemployment

WGLT

An improving coronavirus picture in February failed to nudge unemployment lower in Bloomington- Normal in February.

Man walks past 'now hiring' sign
Nam Y. Huh / AP

Bloomington-Normal has lost more than 6,000 jobs over the last year and its unemployment rate is starting to climb again.

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Employment Security continues to take criticism over issues ranging from fraud to its response time for unemployment claims. State lawmakers say there needs to be a paradigm shift.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Democrats have vowed to continue pushing to raise the federal minimum wage to $15. Illinois already has beat them to the punch, but the federal proposal includes something Illinois’ minimum wage law doesn’t have.

Help Wanted sign
Nam Y. Huh / AP

Bloomington-Normal lost about 5,600 jobs in 2020 and the McLean County employment base shrunk again in December after six consecutive months of gains after the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Signage in Uptown Normal
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal area economy has nearly 6,000 fewer jobs than it did a year ago, another sign that the pandemic’s economic impact is still very much being felt.

New Jobless Claims Surge In Illinois

Dec 10, 2020
Unemployment Office
WGLT

More than 107,000 Illinois workers filed first-time unemployment claims last week, a 45% increase over the week before as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the state and national economies.

Staff / WGLT / WGLT

The Town of Normal is using federal funds to launch a Small Business Relief Program that will offer companies with 50 or fewer full-time employees up to $15,000 in grants.

The town has received $450,000 from the Local CURE Economic Support program that uses federal dollars allocated to Illinois through the CARES Act. The City of Bloomington has a similar program.

Now hiring sign
Charles Krupa / AP

Bloomington-Normal's unemployment rate fell in September for the fifth straight month, although thousands of jobs still haven't returned since the pandemic hit.

Illinois Poorly Prepared For Flood Of Unemployment Claims

Oct 16, 2020
J.B. Pritzker at news conference
Megan McGowan / WGLT

Gov. JB Pritzker held off filling top vacancies at Illinois’ unemployment office because he was planning to merge it with another state department.

Then COVID-19 upended the nation.

Now hiring sign
Charles Krupa / AP

Bloomington-Normal's unemployment rate continues to recover during the coronavirus pandemic, but the area is still short more than 6,000 jobs compared with a year ago.

Illinois Among Last States To Apply, Be Approved For Added $300 Unemployment Benefit

Sep 3, 2020
Pritzker speaks
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Illinois is one of the last states to apply and be approved for a federal program providing an additional $300 in unemployment assistance per week to qualifying residents.

Unemployment insurance claims office
bytemarks / Creative Commons/Flickr

Bloomington-Normal's high unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continued to ease in July, as the jobless rate fell and fewer people sought jobless benefits for the first time.

Country Financial
Ashley Binkowski / WGLT

Wages for Bloomington-Normal and Peoria workers were headed in very different directions when the pandemic hit like a freight train, according to newly released economic data.

Senate GOP Demands Governor Open IDES Offices

Aug 21, 2020
Chapin Rose speaking at podium
Seth Perlman / AP

Ten “frustrated” Republican senators demanded Gov. JB Pritzker allow state offices tasked with processing unemployment claims to reopen in a letter sent exactly five months after Illinois’ first stay-at-home order was issued.

unemployment office signage
BYTEMARKS /CREATIVE COMMONS/FLICKR

Bloomington-Normal's jobless rate stayed stuck in double digits in June for the third straight month, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

Person outside IDES office
Nam Y. Huh / AP

The pace of new job losses in Bloomington-Normal caused by the pandemic slowed for a second straight month in June, according to new data from the state.

Inside empty coffee shop
WGLT file photo

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.

Unemployment insurance claims office
bytemarks / Creative Commons/Flickr

Bloomington-Normal's jobless rate stayed in the double digits for a second straight month in May, as economic fallout from COVID-19 continued.

Person outside IDES office
Nam Y. Huh / AP

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.

Closed sign in a store window
Ashley Binkowski / WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal area's unemployment rate shot up to 12.8% in April, as the coronavirus shutdown took its toll on the economy, state officials announced Friday.

Person outside IDES office
Nam Y. Huh / AP

Another 5,200 people in the Bloomington-Normal area filed for unemployment for the first time in April —  a staggering number that exceeded March's historic high.

Michelle poses
Michelle Sanders / Facebook

There’s really no socially distant way to do massage therapy. That’s put Michelle Sanders out of work.

Closed sign
Ashley Binkowski / WGLT

More than 5,000 people in the Bloomington-Normal area claimed unemployment benefits in March—a ten-fold increase from a year ago that offers a new view of COVID-19’s economic toll.

Unemployment Office
WGLT

One of the last jobs report to precede the full impact COVID-19 is having on the Illinois economy shows job losses in McLean County, despite a drop in the unemployment rate.

Cash in a jar
Mark Lennihan / AP

Wages in McLean County are flat and lagging the rest of the U.S. economy despite low unemployment, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment Office
WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal area’s jobless rate declined in December, as the local economy added 400 jobs in the past year, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.

Now hiring sign
Charles Krupa / AP

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.

Now hiring sign
Charles Krupa / AP

Bloomington-Normal’s jobless rate fell again in October, with employers adding around 400 jobs over the past year, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

B-N Jobless Rate Continues To Fall

Oct 24, 2019
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Bloomington-Normal unemployment rate in September dropped nearly half a percentage point from last year as the local workforce grew by 100.

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