The Illinois unemployment rate stayed the same over the last month. The rate stands at 8.7 percent for February, unchanged from January. It’s 2 full percentage points above the national rate, but it’s the rate hasn’t been lower here since 2009. The state gained 6,400 jobs over the month – a so-so total, but at least it wasn’t a decline, says Greg Rivara of the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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“This job growth that we’ve been seeing in the past five years has been three months of good reports, one month of ehh, it’s an OK report, three more months of a good report, one more month where it’s a pause button. That has been the nature of this recovery for the past five years,” he said. There are now 5.8 million employed in Illinois, 569,000 unemployed. The number unemployed went up 1,900 from January to February.