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Illinois adds only 600 jobs in November, but jobless rate dips

Employers in Illinois added only 600 jobs in November from October, but the unemployment rate dipped to 10 percent from 10.1 percent, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.

The jobless rate is up from 9.4 percent in November 2010 and exceeds the nation’s 8.6 percent rate.

In October, the state added 30,000 jobs.

“Illinois’ economy continues to take small, positive steps despite the pressure of an uneven national recovery,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said in a statement.

Despite the slow job growth last month, Rowell noted the state has experienced job growth in eight of the last 11 months and averaged nearly 6,000 new jobs each month this year.

“We continue to lead the Midwest in job growth since the recovery began,” he said. “Illinois’ economy is moving in the right direction.”

The number of unemployed people in the state fell by 8,100 to 660,600, the first decline since April. The number has declined by 79,500 since January 2010, when the state’s jobless rate peaked at 11.2 percent.

The biggest month-over-month job gains in November were in professional and business services, up 3,600; and in leisure and hospitality, up 600.

The biggest job losses were in construction, down 1,700; and financial activities, down 1,300.

Year-over-year, the biggest job growth was in professional and business services, up 28,400; and educational and health services, up 15,200.

Industries experiencing the biggest job losses were government, down 9,500; and information, down 4,600.

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