The number of people working in Bloomington Normal dropped sharply in April compared to a year ago. But, the State Department of Employment Security also reports a sharp decline in the unemployment rate. The two numbers can move independently. The twin cities jobless rate is now five and a half percent, down from six percent a year ago. But, the number of jobs in the community has shrunk by 2,600. And the nearly 3% decline in jobs is the most significant drop among all the state's metro areas. State figures show declines in the Bloomington Normal Professional and Business Services and Financial Activities sectors. Leisure and hospitality grew slightly. In Peoria a 1.7% drop in the workforce compared with a 1.3% improvement in the overall unemployment rate to 7% joblessness. Trade, Education, and Construction sectors grew in Peoria. Manufacturing, Professional and Business Services and Transportation-Warehousing-and utilities areas declined. April unemployment fell in all Illinois metro areas. Department Director Jay Rowell says the trend of fewer people on unemployment and more people working statewide bodes well for continued improvement in local economies.
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