Unemployment up, jobs down in all metro areas due to COVID-19 pandemic


A man walks past a retail store that is going out of business due to the coronavirus pandemic in Winnetka, Ill., Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker announced a package of state grant programs that will help support communities and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and unrest in the area. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

ILLINOIS (WMBD) — In May, the number of nonfarm jobs decreased in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas, including Peoria, which saw unemployment rise by 11 percent according to a study on the economic effects of COVID-19 released Thursday.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) presented data showing that unemployment throughout the state rose significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data showed that Central Illinois suffered greatly from the pandemic. The Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) saw a collective unemployment rate of 15.2 percent. Peoria County had the highest rate of unemployment compared to all other counties in the MSA. It also lost 28,000 nonfarming jobs this year with the largest declines coming from Leisure & Hospitality (-12,600), Professional & Business Services (-3,000), Government (-2,800), and Educational-Health Services (-2,400).

Bloomington MSA took a hit from the pandemic with a loss of 9,900 nonfarm jobs. McLean County was hurt more than De Witt County, as McLean had an 11 percent unemployment rate while De Witt had a 9.6 percent unemployment rate. The largest declines in employment came from Leisure-Hospitality (-4,900), Government (-1,400), Professional-Business Services (-1,200), and Retail Trade (-1,000).

Rockford saw the highest level of unemployment in the state with 19.3 percent. That’s a 14.2 percent increase from last year.

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