Jobless rates fall in several Illinois areas


Jobless rates fell in February for most Illinois areas compared to February of last year, although more areas saw a loss of jobs as well.


According to  the Illinois Department of Employment Security, jobless rates dropped in eight of Illinois' 12 metro areas compared to February of last year.  


In Central Illinois,  Decatur's rate fell to 12.7 percent from 12.8 percent last year. The last time the rate was equal to or lower was in 2012 when it was 11.0 percent. Major job decline was reported in manufacturing (-800), while payroll and construction saw an increase (+400).


Springfield unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent from 8.9 percent last year. Springfield remains below the state average of 9.4 percent. Springfield added 700 jobs in construction and lost 700 in professional-business services.


Champaign's rate dropped from 8.8 percent to 8.7. Danville's rate was sharply higher at 12.8 percent, compared to 11.9 percent last February. The lowest rate was 8 percent, in Bloomington-Normal, though that area lost 1,900 jobs.


The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.


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