Bitter Cold Blamed on Job Losses in Illinois

Latest unemployment report indicates jobs lost in December statewide, but unemployment rate still fell
CHICAGO - Illinois lost 3200 jobs in December, in part because of bitter cold analysts say, but the unemployment rate fell anyway to 8.6%.  Because the unemployment rate is based on those actively seeking work, the decrease indicates many discouraged job seekers are leaving the labor altogether.  Officials note, however, that 62,200 more people are working in Illinois than were one year ago.

Illinois Department of Employment Security officials say bitter cold pushed down employment here and across the country, snapping seven consecutive months of job growth.  “Although the bitter cold and snow temporarily interrupted seven consecutive months of job growth, the fundamentals of our economy remain sound and reflect moderate economic expansion moving forward,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said in a news release.
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