The unemployment rate in Illinois is down to 8.4 percent in March, lowest in more than five years.  “Especially the long term, since the recovery began in January 2010, we've seen a steady increase in the number of private-sector jobs,” says Jay Rowell, director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  
 
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“We're up nearly 260,000 private-sector jobs that have been created since January 2010.  That's moving in the right direction and contributing to a lower unemployment rate.”  The February rate was 8.7 percent.  Illinois still is among the states with the highest unemployment – in February only Rhode Island was higher with 9 percent.
 
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