The unemployment rate in the Peoria area registered one of the largest declines in the state last month. Peoria's jobless rate dropped from ten percent to nine percent compared to February of last year. The McLean County area labor market saw only a slight drop in the unemployment rate to seven and a half percent according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. In the last year Peoria has gained 3,400 jobs and the Bloomington Normal area has lost 800. Jobless rates dropped in most of the state's larger cities for February. IDES Director Jay Rowell says the state has added 130,000 jobs since January of last year, though discouraged workers are also pouring back into the job market looking for work, so unemployment rates have not declined as much as the job creation would suggest they should. The jobless rates in the City of Bloomington and Town of Normal were unchanged for the month, suggesting the marginal improvement for the overall McLean county labor market came from rural areas of the county. Dewitt, Logan, and Livingston county jobless rates range between nine point one and nine and a half percent.
Support Your Public Radio Station