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Illinois unemployment rate lowest since 2008

Illinois unemployment fell for the third straight month in May, bringing unemployment down to its lowest level since November 2008, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The unemployment rate in the state is now at 7.5 percent. It’s still higher than the national rate of 6.3 percent. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000.

In May, the number of unemployed people in Illinois fell  by 23,600, or 4.6 percent. The rate fell even though estimates suggest the state had 2,600 fewer jobs in May but 19,200 more jobs than one year ago.

April and May combined saw the lowest two-month drop in unemployment since data was first collected in 1976. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for employment. If they stop looking, they are no longer counted.

sbomkamp@tribune.com
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Illinois Unemployment Rate data by YCharts

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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