Unemployment down in most Ill. Metro areas

Unemployment rates drop in May in most Illinois metro areas but Chicago rises sharply

Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- Unemployment decreased in May in eight of Illinois' 12 metro areas but rose in Chicago.

Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jay Rowell said Thursday that falling unemployment rates in areas such as Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana follow improvements in the national economy. Champaign-area unemployment fell to 6.9 percent from 7.2 percent a year earlier. Joblessness in Bloomington-Normal dipped to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent.

But in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area's jobless rate reached 9.3 percent in May after hitting 8.8 percent a year earlier.

And unemployment in Decatur hit 10.3 percent in May. That's up from 9.7 percent a year earlier. Caterpillar Inc. is a major local employer and has been laying off workers in the city.

The department said last week that statewide unemployment was down to 9.1 percent.

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