Despite a decrease, Illinois’ unemployment rate continues to lag the rest of the nation.

The latest data released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security says Illinois’ unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percent to 6.4 percent. Though there were jobs gains, the state lost a net of 2,500 jobs in the past month.

IDES Labor Market Information Director Evelina Loescher said more people are leaving the workforce for a variety of reasons, including giving up looking for work.

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“Illinois continues to grow at a slower rate than the nation and we’ve been seeing a widening gap in the difference between the U.S. and Illinois, with Illinois’ unemployment rate being much higher than the U.S.,” Loescher said.

The U.S. unemployment rate for May was 4.6 percent, down eight-tenths of percent compared with one year ago. Illinois’ unemployment rate increased half a percent over the past year.

Among the biggest losers in Illinois were the education and health services sector at 2,300. Loescher said some of the education job losses are typical around the end of the school year. Manufacturing lost 1,100 in the past month.  Regardless the sector, Loescher said job losses are felt all around.

“Whether it’s manufacturing or construction or information, whenever we do see declines in employment it does have ripple effects through the economy,” Loescher said.

Since this time last year Illinois lost 8,400 manufacturing jobs, more than double the 3,800 job losses in the information sector.


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