Illinois’ unemployment rate held steady over the last month. It’s still 6 percent, and still higher than the national rate of 5.4 percent. The state did gain 4,800 jobs from March to April. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 7.4 percent. Since then, the state has added 62,900 jobs. The number of people unemployed – 390,700 – is down 19.3 percent since one year ago.
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Manufacturing is still a big part of the Illinois economy, and it’s a world market. “Many of the products that are created, produced in Illinois are dependent upon global demand, and I think when a lot of the global demand starts increasing, you’ll see employment increasing in many of those areas in the state,” said Ron Payne, a labor market economist at the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Sectors that showed job gains were professional and business services (+8,200), educational and health services (+1,100) and other services (+1,400). Job losses were in the financial activities (-2,400), manufacturing (-1,200), construction (-800) and government (-700) sectors.