Bloomington-Normal gains jobs in latest IDES report

The June employment numbers are out, and Bloomington-Normal saw a slight jump year-over-year in its unemployment rate (4.4% in June 2018 vs. 4.2% in June 2017). However, total nonfarm jobs increased by 900 - from 92,100 last June to 93,000 this year - for the Bloomington MSA.

How is that possible? According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the increase in the unemployment rate is largely due to an increase in the overall labor force.

“The increase…is brought on by renewed confidence in the local economy,” IDES Director Jeff Mays said. “Many people that were unemployed are now out looking for work as more jobs are available.”

The largest sector increase for Bloomington-Normal came from Leisure and Hospitality (+800). McLean County also saw gains in Wholesale Trade (+100), Professional and Business Services (+500), and in State Government employment (+200), which is often most clearly reflected through the state’s largest local employee base, Illinois State University.

The area’s largest job sector, Financial Activities, remained relatively unchanged year-over-year. Despite continued personnel changes through various employers – including McLean County’s largest, State Farm – the IDES report shows no change in total jobs.

Statewide, Illinois gained 61,700 jobs year-over-year and saw its unemployment rate fall from 5.1% to 4.5%.