Unemployment continues to fall in Illinois, but the pace of decline is slower. The unemployment rate for April was 8.7 percent, a drop from 8.8 percent in March, according to data released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. It’s the eighth month in a row that unemployment fell, but this drop of one-tenth of a percentage point came after three months of declines of three-tenths of a point.
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“We are having consistent progress in an improving economy in the state, but that progress is not nearly at the level that most people would like to see,” said department spokesman Greg Rivara. The state added only 100 jobs last month, according to the data, but Rivara says that’s probably because warm weather in March caused spring seasonal jobs to be added then. The number of unemployed is 571,500. That’s down 9,600 from March, and down 181,300 (24 percent) since unemployment in Illinois peaked in January 2010. Illinois unemployment is still higher than the national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.