Illinois lost jobs in March, though the unemployment rate didn’t budge. The unemployment rate held steady at 9.5 percent, even though the state lost 17,800 jobs. Greg Rivara of the Illinois Department of Employment Security says it’s hard to explain how this is so.
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“We’ve had job growth (in recent months) which has been bringing people into the labor force, pushing up the unemployment rate, and this month, we have job loss, but the unemployment rate does not go further up. It stays the same.” The increase in unemployed people was only 1,700. The state has 5.7 million people working and 629,000 people not working. The unemployment rate of 9.5 percent is up from the 8.8 percent rate in March of last year. Rivara says the Illinois situation correlates with national job growth falling short of expectations.