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December unemployment declines in Illinois

Retail sales fell 1.2 percent in December, the most in nine years. The drop cut into forecasts for economic growth.
David Zalubowski
Jobless numbers improved in Illinois in December, according to data released by the Department of Employment Security.

The State of Illinois closed the year with about 333,000 people out of work and looking for a job.

The state Department of Employment Security said Friday that's down by nearly a third from December of 2020. The number of people working in the state last month was up by more than 262,000 from 12 months earlier.

The 5.3% December unemployment rate for Illinois remained 1.4 percentage points higher than the national average. The state jobless rate did fall from November to December by .4% and by 2.7 percentage points from 2020, when it was at 8%.

Job sectors that grew the most for the month compared to 2020 were professional and business services, trade transportation and utilities, and leisure and hospitality. There were declines in financial activities, and education and health services.

“Today’s data reflects continued encouraging growth across Illinois’ economy,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “Illinois will continue to take collaborative steps to strengthen our workforce and connect workers with employers across the state. IDES encourages job seekers and businesses to utilize tools such as IllinoisJobLink.com, Illinois’ free and accessible job board with over 160,000 available jobs.”

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.