Illinois jobless rate drops but job growth slows
Updated at 3:23 p.m. with Associated Press correction. Government hiring was not down in April.
Unemployment across Illinois dropped in April for an eighth straight month, but job growth all but stalled.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that statewide unemployment fell to 8.7 percent. That's down a tenth of a percentage point from 8.8 in March. The national jobless rate was 8.1 percent.
The department says Illinois employers created just 100 more jobs than they cut in April. Virtually all growth was in the manufacturing sector and among firms in the professional and business-services sector. The latter includes many temporary jobs.
Department Director Jay Rowell notes that Illinois' economy has still averaged a steady 6,300 net new jobs a month for three months.
Sectors that lost the most jobs in April included construction and trade, transportation and utilities.