CHICAGO (AP) -- The
Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate
dropped in December for a fourth straight month. But the 8.6 percent rate is
still one of the highest in the country.
The department said
Friday that the state lost a net 3,200 jobs in December. Officials blamed
brutal cold for decreases in, among other areas, construction jobs.
But Department Director
Jay Rowell says Illinois'
economy remains on track for moderate expansion.
The unemployment rate
fell from 8.7 percent in November. The national unemployment rate for December
was 6.7 percent. That's the lowest figure since late 2008.
Construction jobs were
reduced by 4,500 in December. Government, labor and hospitality and educational
and health services employers also all cut jobs.
and utilities firms added a net 4,500 jobs.
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