Illinois’ unemployment rate rose in January.    It’s up to 9.0 percent in January, from 8.6 in December, according to data just released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.   "The reason that it’s going there is encouraging: More people looking for work in January pushed that unemployment rate up. It is an occurrence that you would expect as the economy continues to recover,” says Greg Rivara, spokesman for the Department of Employment Security.


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Compared to the recovery periods from previous recessions, though, employment growth is lagging in this recovery. Rivara says the reasons for this aren’t known yet, but may turn out to be lack of consumer confidence and business certainty.   The state actually gained 7,100 jobs over the period, and has total employment of 5.78 million. Unemployment rose 22,900 to 594,800.


The 9 percent unemployment rate for January is down from 9.1 in January of last year. The national rate is 7.9 percent. The February data will be released in two weeks.


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