7,000 people in Bloomington Normal are out of work and looking for a job. The State Department of Employment Security says that's about the same as in July of last year. The jobless rate of 7.7% of the workforce is unchanged even though there are 300 more jobs in the labor market than at the point in 2011. Data show unemployment rates falling from last year in five of the state's large cities, unchanged rates in three areas including McLean County, and higher rates in four other cities. IDES Director Jay Rowell says that shows the nature of the uneven recovery and the need for stronger nationwide consumer confidence to allow Illinois unemployment rates to consistently improve. Peoria's jobless rate of 8.1% is substantially lower than at this time last year.
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