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State jobless rate hits 5½-year low

Updated: June 19, 2014 2:45PM



Illinois’ unemployment rate fell for the third month in a row, to 7.5 percent, in May — the lowest level since November 2008.

May also marks nine consecutive months that the number of people working has increased, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

“May brings us another month of encouraging data. More people are working and the unemployment rate is falling,” IDES director Jay Rowell said in a news release. “May also reminds us that even as we continue to improve and move forward, more needs to be done to bring this progress to every doorstep.”

First-time jobless claims in Illinois were 25.5 percent lower last month than a year ago. But the state’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national average, which was 6.3 percent in May.



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