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State

State jobless rate eases down

Illinois unemployment falls to 8.9 percent

SPRINGFIELD (AP) – Illinois' unemployment rate eased down two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.9 percent last month after adding the most jobs in September and October than in any 2-month period since May 2010. But Illinois' jobless rate remained among the highest nationwide.

The state's Department of Employment Security reported Friday that 10,300 jobs were added statewide in September and 15,400 more in October, helping drop the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from September's 9.1 percent.

State unemployment numbers typically are released monthly, but the two reports were combined as a result of the temporary federal government shutdown that delayed collecting the data.

"Today's milestone is encouraging," Jay Rowell, the department's director, said in a statement. "It highlights the progress that has been made and underscores that there is much more to do."

Nationally, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent, partly because of the partial government shutdown. In the meantime, unemployment fell in Illinois and 27 other states while increasing in 11 states.

Nevada continued to have the nation's highest unemployment rate, at 9.3 percent. That is down from 9.4 percent in September. The states with the next highest rates were Rhode Island, at 9.2 percent; Michigan, 9 percent; Illinois, 8.9 percent; and California, 8.7 percent.

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