Disappointing local unemployment numbers were released by the state Thursday. Peoria's 9.2 percent December unemployment rate is one percent higher than the year before and the area has lost about 1300 jobs in the past year. Meantime, Bloomington Normal's rate also jumped from 6.4 percent from the year before to 7.1 percent. Bloomington Normal saw a loss of 1400 jobs. State officials say the loss of jobs and the jump in unemployment reflect a temporary slowdown in global manufacturing demand. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.
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