WMBD/WYZZ— McLean County— With unemployment rates on the rise in Illinois, McLean County is faring better than most with the second lowest unemployment rate in the state. Brown County is the only other area in Illinois with a lower unemployment rate than McLean County. But, despite lower-than-usual numbers, it is still feeling the effects of the recession.
"We’ve been insulated but perhaps not isolated from what’s happening on a national level, so with that there are some holes starting to come into that bubble and there are certain industries in town that are starting to look at next quarter and start to wonder how they will keep their employment count or how they'll even keep the lights on,” McLean County Chamber of Commerce CEO Charlie Moore said.
McLean County's unemployment rate is 6.4 percent, at least three percent lower than surrounding county’s numbers.
"We’re following national trends by doubling our unemployment rate from where we were two years ago, however our unemployment rate is continually or traditionally low because of the type of recession-proof businesses that we have here in town," Moore said.
Moore says those "recession-proof” businesses include State Farm and Country Financial. State of Illinois Department of Employment Security reports show the Twin Cities saw job gains of at least 300 in its leisure and hospitality category, which includes movie theatres, hotels and restaurants. Bloomington-Normal also saw government job gains of at least 200.