Unemployment Drops in Illinois According to Data

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessThe December unemployment rate fell to 9.8 percent and the state shed 4,100 jobs, according to preliminary data released Monday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The data is seasonally adjusted. The unemployment rate averaged 9.4 percent in 2011, down 0.9 percentage points from 2010.

“Illinois’ economy continues to take positive steps forward despite the pressures of an uneven national recovery,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Illinois has recorded job growth in seven of 12 months. We have averaged 4,400 new jobs each month in 2011. Monthly snapshots are just that, but looking at long-term trends reveals the path we are taking. Our long-term growth trajectory shows Illinois’ economy moving forward and in the right direction.”

Illinois added +52,600 jobs in 2011 and +95,900 jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned to Illinois after 23 consecutive months of declines. Since January 2010, leading growth sectors in Illinois are Professional and Business Services (+49,600); Educational and Health Services (+38,900); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+20,300); and Manufacturing (+19,400). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down -13,400.

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