Illinois’ unemployment rate continued its downward trend in May.
After falling half a percentage point to 7.9 percent in April, the rate fell to 7.5 percent in May, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. IDES director Jay Rowell says that’s a historic drop. “This is the largest two-month drop since this data series begin 38 years ago in 1976,” Rowell said. “So this is a very encouraging sign that the economy is improving.
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Rowell says the state’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since November 2008, though it’s still above the national average of 6.3 percent. Illinois can now say its beating one of its neighboring states when it comes to unemployment, as Kentucky’s rate held at 7.7 percent in May. The total number of unemployed people in Illinois dropped 4.6 percent to 492,400, though that only includes those who are actively seeking work.