Illinois’ unemployment rate is holding steady at 6 percent. The 6 percent rate is a half point above the national rate, but it’s down from 7.1 percent a year ago. It’s OK, says Evelina Loescher, labor market information director for the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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“We typically call it alright. A lot of economists in the Federal Reserve call it the rate at which wages might start accelerating, if you get much below 5½ percent,” she said.
The state did add jobs, 9,200, up from 5,400 the previous month, but the department says the job growth – an average of 5,300 jobs per month since the recovery began – is slow, projecting it’ll take another year for employment to reach the pre-recession level. Illinois has 5.9 million working, 392,000 unemployed.