The Bloomington-Normal area's jobless rate plunged to 3.1 percent in April, the lowest rate for that month since 2000, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.
Last month’s 3.1 percent unemployment rate was down from 3.6 percent in April 2017. The local jobless rate is the lowest for any metro area in the state, IDES reported. It’s also lower than both the statewide (3.6 percent) and national averages (3.7 percent).
The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.
Meanwhile, the total number of nonfarm jobs in the Bloomington-Normal area shrunk by 600 positions to 94,800 in April 2018, IDES reported. Those entering or leaving the workforce can drive the jobless rate up or down, even when the total number of jobs goes in the other direction.
There were around 3,100 unemployed people in the local labor force in April, around 400 fewer than this time a year ago, IDES reported.
The biggest job declines were in the Construction (500 jobs lost), Financial Activities (-400), and Manufacturing (-200) sectors, IDES reported. Gains were reported in Leisure and Hospitality (added 400 jobs), Government (+200), Wholesale Trade (+100), and Educational and Health Services (+100).
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