Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Dropped in February

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More people found work in Illinois over the past month.

In February, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%, down from 5.7% in January. That translates to about 25,000 jobs added over the course of the month.

Illinois has now surpassed its prior peak employment reached in September 2000 by 100 jobs.

“After 17 years, Illinois jobs have finally regained their September 2000 peak,” said Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays. “However, nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs that existed in the year 2000 are no longer in Illinois. While many other states – including our neighbors – have had positive growth in manufacturing jobs in the last several years, Illinois has not.”

In the last year alone, Illinois has lost 7,400 manufacturing jobs, a major industry in the Rockford economy.

Industry sectors that have made gains include government, which added 8,300 last month, and construction, adding 7,300 jobs in February.

Education and health services wasn’t far behind last month adding 5,800 jobs. They’re the fastest growing industry in the state in the past year, adding 15,300 in total.

If you’re looking for a job in Illinois, find help here.

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