State's Jobless Rate Falls Again

The recovery of the Chicago real estate market and the jobless rate in Illinois go hand-in-hand, so it brings us great pleasure to announce that the state’s unemployed fell below 9 percent for the first time in two years.
The unemployment rate in Illinois dipped from 9 percent in January to 8.9 percent in February, the 13th straight month of declines.
The last time the state rate was below 9 percent was in February 2009. The national rate also fell 0.1 percent in February to 8.9 percent.
“The Illinois economy is steadily building momentum. Our state has recorded 13 consecutive months of falling unemployment rates after nearly two years of increases,” said Maureen O’Donnell, Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) Director.
“Although up-and-down movement in the rate still is possible, the trend shows the Illinois economy is improving and moving in the right direction.”
Illinois’ unemployment rate hit its worst at 11.2 percent in January 2010.
Since then, the state has added 85,100 net new jobs. That represents a 1.5 percent job growth, compared to the nation’s 1.0 percent.
When you add in independent contractors and the self-employed, Illinois has added 147,600 positions since last January.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Rockford, which carries the highest jobless rate in Illinois at 13.7, has also posted the biggest drop in unemployment in the country from January 2010 to January 2011.
The unemployment rate in Rockford last January was 19 percent.