The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate fell below six percent in February. The drop to 5.4% leaves Illinois' jobless rate at its lowest since late 2007.
Preliminary numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released yesterday show 25,600 non-farm jobs were added to Illinois' economy last month. January job growth was revised to show an increase of 8,100 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of 1,700 jobs.
Despite February's payroll progress, Illinois is still lagging behind the 4.7% national unemployment rate. And sectors such as manufacturing remain well below their peak 17 years ago.
Last month's biggest gains were made in government, construction, and education and health service. Trade and transportation saw the largest declines.