Illinois Department of Employment Security

IDES

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate fell below six percent in February.

  

The drop to 5.4 percent leaves Illinois' jobless rate at its lowest since late 2007. Preliminary numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released by the department Thursday indicate 25,600 non-farm jobs were added to Illinois' economy last month.

January job growth was revised to show an increase of 8,100 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of 1,700 jobs.

Illinois is the nation's worst in reclaiming hundreds of millions of dollars in overpaid unemployment benefits, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal statistics.

The state overpaid a lot of unemployment money during the past four years: $714-million. And it only recovered 37% of that money. That’s the worst record in the nation. The national average is 66 percent.

Unemployment overpayments are benefits collected by people who aren’t eligible for them, whether done intentionally or as a result of not understanding the rules once they return to work.

IDES

The unemployment rate in the Rockford area jumped last month compared to the same time the year before.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security says December unemployment in Winnebago and Boone counties stood at 7.2 %, up from 6.9 % in December 2014.  Across Illinois, only the Decatur area had a higher jobless rate.  Rockford also suffered a net loss of 300 jobs from the previous year.

Illinois Department of Employment Security / AP/WNIJ News

Unemployment dropped in most of Illinois' metro areas in November but most areas also lost jobs over the past year.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Wednesday in its monthly metro-area report that the jobless rate dropped in 12 metro areas last month, stayed the same in one and dropped in one.

The lowest rate was 5.2 percent in Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights. The highest was 7.7 percent in Danville.

Mixed Jobs News In Illinois

Sep 20, 2013

Illinois' jobless rate is still well above the national average. The state's rate for August was 9.2 percent. But there were some positive signs within the numbers.