Facts: Local jobs disappearing

By:  Diane Benjamin

Last week the local media reported the low local unemployment rate.  Here’s an example from WJBC:   http://www.wjbc.com/2018/03/15/bloomington-normal-jobless-rate-remains-lowest-in-state-2/

They must be afraid to report the rest of the story:


This chart is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

These numbers are the actual number of people employed – in thousands.

In the last 10 years THOUSANDS of fewer people are employed right here in Bloomington Normal.

Note:  This is before the State Farm slaughter.

Click on the link, there is graph that shows the decline.

Here is another link the Bloomington City Council should see:    https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_14010.htm#00-0000

There is no need to hire a consultant to evaluate the salaries being paid to City employees.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has already done it for them.  Extensive information is already available for average salaries paid for a variety of job descriptions. 

These are Bloomington-Normal area numbers, not nationwide averages.

How has local government responded to these declines?

Spend, Spend, Spend.




21 thoughts on “Facts: Local jobs disappearing

  1. This is the dirty secret that the local politicians and so-called business leaders don’t want anyone to know. The population of employed people in BN, particularly those in high skill vocations, has been in continuous decline. The local media does a great job keeping everything at surface level to preserve the narrative that all is well in BN. They are providing the needed protection for Koos and Renner to impose their will on the local economy in form of massive spending, growing debt, and ever-expanding reach of government in the market and our lives.

    1. Yes… the narrative that “it can’t happen here” is being kept alive as “it is happening here”. Jobs and economic output have been on the decline for a couple of years now. Now we move into the era of the decline of State Farm? But the media touts unemployment numbers? Unemployment only counts people who are eligible and getting unemployment benefits which only last for 25 weeks. If you are not eligible for unemployment (various reasons) or you have used up all your benefits, you are no longer counted. So if someone gets laid off and leaves the area or is not eligible for benefits or leaves the workforce, they are not counted. Most if not all of the people being laid off from State Farm will not be eligible for benefits right away, if ever. So they will not be counted as unemployed even if they are sitting at home looking for jobs. But the media says, “look at the unemployment numbers…. everything is fine…ignore what your lying eyes are telling you everyday”

  2. Do these figures include the thousands of H1b employees who have been “let go”? Who’ve moved out of town with their families in search of greener pastures?

    1. Most likely “yes,” it includes the H1-B folks. The numbers “employed” are generated from payroll data provided by the companies and agencies like ADP.

  3. Diane-

    I guess put me in the concerned category… My young family and I moved back to the area 2.5 years ago in the hopes to grow a life here. To be honest I feel quite helpless. I want to be an agent of change and get involved, but will it matter? I feel there are people passionate about the community and change CAN happen, but how? The issues run deeper than State Farm and just the city.. its the state as well. Its cheap to live here.. but I have a feeling its going to get even cheaper. So what can we do? You are clearly passionate.. at some point we need to be the agent of change to help control what is happening.. maybe I am just naive.

  4. What I see is less diversity in employment. The area relies upon a few key employers.

    In years past the job market diversity was larger. You could open up the newspaper or help wanted ads and find different job opportunities. Now that is limited. if you wanted a job at State Farm for example you’re likely going to need a college degree to even be considered and likely a required GPA.

    Other cities are moving toward niche job markets with growth potential. For example Iowa City, IA with the huge medical facilities. Some are moving toward retirement communities with assisted living offerings, etc..

    I don’t see the community leadership working toward setting any direction for future growth. Their attitude seems to be if we build it they will come. Good luck with that concept.

    I think the potential is there but no one is taking the leadership reins to move forward. For example ISU has a superb nursing program. The community leadership needs to work more closely with the local colleges to identify growth potential and focus on the growth of those areas.

    A number of years ago ISU blew it when they pulled the rug out from underneath the InfoTech program. That program was about training individuals for IT jobs that are in demand. It offered people with different backgrounds the opportunity to have a good career with high pay potential. I see it everyday where my employer can’t find skilled help. The local leadership should have been more involved and they weren’t. If they had been then perhaps the program wouldn’t have shut down.

      1. That term disgusts me and so many others in the business community. Its a euphemism for what Tari and his ideologues deem acceptable. This thinking brought us economic gems like Green Top Grocery.

      2. When Renner first took office he noted there was going to be a “culture change.” Obviously he was referring to the socialist democratic marxist ideology that he holds dear.

    1. Agreed. The local government and the Chamber cronies in BN are anti-new business, anti-new technology, and otherwise resistant to change. The community (so-called) leadership is only looking out for their individual self-interests not the collective wellbeing of BN. As a business owner myself, I’ve witnessed first-hand the rampant discrimination based on membership in the old boy’s club and political ideology.They’ve shown no interest in attracting and retaining high tech talent, entrepreneurs, SaaS, or mobile-based companies. Instead, the leadership prefers to court restaurants, nicknack shops, and government-led development. State Farm’s decline is merely exposing this systemic economic issue. So sad.

      1. Local Chamber are minions following the national Chamber orders, leading dummies like Reener and Koos in the socialist culture that supports big business over smaller independents. As more big business increases market share, slowly but surely independent thinkers are squeezed out. The lot of these cronies involved all work for for the man, no independent thought from any of them. They follow the script. (except of course when egotisical mayors act like two year olds.)

    2. I would generally agree about pulling InfoTech at ISU, but Millikin shut down their degrees in IT and mathematics a decade ago because no high school graduates were applying for those degrees. And one can go on Coursera and get high quality training at a fraction of the cost of college. I read last week that Google has put together a training program on Coursera to get certified in programming and other related areas.

  5. Funny you folks have brought up programming. I have a friend who works in Springfield, used to do a LOT of state contracts (until they went without a budget and didn’t pay the bills) and he tells me that in Springfield, he can’t GET people in programming because the STATE gets them and pays them HUGE money to sit on their thumbs. One guy he knows is making 90K and is bored to death! So he and others, started a outlet north of here where students can program from home.. see the following::

  6. Where’s the Chamber? Out to lunch or a rubber chicken dinner? Perhaps Charlie The Tuna is busy dedicating a birdfeeder in Downtown Bloomington or another ribbon-cutting for the 3,000th chain restaurant in BN.

      1. LOL at the the “you aren’t supposed to know”- went and checked some of our many hotels the other night (a weeknight granted) but I don’t believe any were even at 1/4 capacity, some had 3-5 cars. I’ll try it again Friday meanwhile I’ll do a check on the restaurant chains too around 5:30-6:30 pm and maybe a lunch one one day. I did the hotels after 9pm.

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