June 18, 2021

Illinois economy shrinks 4% in 2020 despite 4th quarter growth Entertainment, hospitality sectors hardest hit

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois economy shrank by 4 percent in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on many of its sectors, although there were signs of a recovery taking place late in the year.

Those preliminary numbers, released last week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, showed that the leisure, hospitality and food service sector was the hardest hit by the pandemic, reporting a nearly 30 percent drop in economic output for the year.

That was due to the forced closure of bars, restaurants, theaters, amusement parks and most tourist attractions in the early phases of the pandemic, as well as the cancellation of large conventions and business meetings.

“You look at the various industries, many of which got impacted by COVID, but I don’t think any industry was impacted as much as hotels and tourism,” Michael…

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