Ill. unemployment up sharply to 9.9 percent | St. Louis Public Radio

Ill. unemployment up sharply to 9.9 percent

Sep 15, 2011

Illinois' unemployment rate shot up almost half a percentage point in August to 9.9 percent. And state officials are blaming the continuing struggles of the national economy and weak consumer confidence.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that Illinois' unemployment rate surged from 9.5 percent in July.

Department Director Jay Rowell says the state's economy is struggling because of the slow recovery at the national level. The national jobless rate held steady in August at 9.1 percent.

The number of unemployed people in Illinois actively looking for work increased in August by 25,400 to 653,000. That's an increase of 4 percent.

The biggest job losses in August were the 2,800 jobs cut by government employers and the decrease in manufacturing employment by 1,000 jobs.