Illinois' unemployment rate fell below 9 percent in March in what continues to be a slow, sometimes unsteady recovery from recession.
The state Department of Employment Security said Thursday that unemployment fell to 8.8 percent in March. It was the first time the jobless rate was below 9 percent since February 2009 and the seventh straight decrease. February unemployment in Illinois was 9.1 percent.
Illinois unemployment still remains higher that the nation as a whole. The U.S. rate in March was 8.2 percent.
The Department of Employment Security said the professional and business services sector added 8,100 jobs in March. That sector includes many temporary jobs.
The biggest job losses were in the construction sector.
Employers cut a net of 5,000 construction jobs in March.