Illinois’ unemployment rate is down for the second month in a row. The May unemployment rate comes in at 9.1 percent, down from 9.3 percent in April, but higher than the 8.9 percent rate a year ago.
This rate of unemployment is not the sign of a strong economy, says Greg Rivara of the Illinois Department of Employment Security, but the decline is a little ray of sunshine. “The May report shows businesses are warming to the idea of adding new positions. Growth in construction (was) particularly encouraging following a wet spring,” he said.
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Construction jobs were up 3,900 over the month. The overall net gain in jobs was 5,600. In the private sector it was 11,800, as government jobs were down 6,200.
Illinois has 5.7 million employed. The number of unemployed dropped 11,000 to 599,000.