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IDES: State's Unemployment Rate Drops to Record Low

Unemployment insurance claims office
Creative Commons/Flickr
Illinois’ September unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, according to preliminary data.";

Illinois’ unemployment rate appears to have dropped to a historic low, according to the latest preliminary data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s jobless rate dropped to 3.9% in September 2019. It suggests Illinois’ economy, like the rest of the country’s, is humming along; the state added more than 66,000 jobs across several different sectors over the past year.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said the previous unemployment record of 4% had been set in August.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows about 5,000 more people found jobs last month, across sectors including transportation, government and education.

Sam Salustro, a spokesman for the department, said the unemployment rate is just one good indicator.

“We’ve also seen an increase in the labor force. Out of the number of people who could be working, more people are trying to work and that’s always a sign of a strong economy.”

Salustro said many in the labor force are encouraged by what state lawmakers have recently done.

“I know that this administration has taken a number of policies that they say are going to bolster that job growth, like passing a balanced budget, passing a bipartisan capital bill that will rebuild roads and bridges, and raising the minimum wage.”

The state is still nearly half a percent behind the national jobless rate. 

Illinois’ unemployment numbers are still preliminary and will likely be revised as officials review the data.

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Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.
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