Spoiler...it's not Chicago, so which of the metro areas in Illinois has actually now grown more jobs than it had back in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and overall as a state how close is Illinois to getting jobs back to pre-pandemic levels?

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According to data from the website Illinoispolicy.org, only one metro area in Illinois now has more jobs than it did before the pandemic started in 2020, and that is Bloomington, Illinois. Bloomington, which is the home to State Farm and is connected to Normal where Illinois State University is, is now at 104% recovered as far as jobs go to pre-pandemic levels. There are other metro areas in Illinois that are close to reaching the 100% recovered mark too, Carbondale metro area is at 95%, Springfield metro is at 94%, and the Lake County area is at 93%.

Overall, the state of Illinois has recovered 86% of the jobs it had pre-pandemic, but there are some metro areas that are really struggling. Kankakee metro has only recovered 38%, Danville metro only 61%, and surprising to me the Champaign-Urbana metro, home to the University of Illinois, has only recovered 64%. To see the complete charts of data for yourself just click here! 

The site goes on to say...

"Illinois is still missing 117,000 jobs relative to pre-pandemic levels, with the missing jobs being spread across every metro area. As of June, only Bloomington has recovered from early 2020 job losses."

Honestly good for Bloomington metro area to have found ways to get not only their jobs back but to have added 4% more jobs than they had pre-pandemic is impressive, especially in a state that has been losing people recently and is located not in the Chicagoland area. Do you think the state will ever recover fully to pre-pandemic levels?

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