The Illinois unemployment rate dropped slightly in December. It fell from 8.7 percent to 8.6, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday, which Greg Rivara of the Illinois Department of Employment Security spins this way.
“8.6 is not an acceptable unemployment rate. It’s not a health unemployment rate. But it’s falling, it’s falling for four consecutive months. We are not at the 11 and 11½ percent, where we were a couple of years ago,” he said.
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The state actually lost 3,200 jobs in December, as cold weather limited construction activity. The unemployment rate was last this low a year ago. The last time it was lower was five years ago. The number of unemployed fell 2,000 to 565,300. The national unemployment rate is 1.9 percentage points lower than the Illinois rate.