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Illinois unemployment rate falls to 6 percent for first time since 2008


CHICAGO — Unemployment continued to fall in Illinois in February, hitting 6 percent for the first time since 2008.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Tuesday that the jobless rate fell to that level from a January rate of 6.1 percent. The national unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in February.

Unemployment has now fallen in Illinois for 11 of the past 12 months. In February 2014, the jobless rate was 7.9 percent.

The department said in its monthly unemployment report that the trade, transportation and utilities sector and the professional and business services sector each grew by more than 5,000 jobs last month. Government employers lost a net 1,600 jobs while manufacturers cut 800 more than they added.

Illinois' number of unemployed workers fell by 1.8 percent in February to 391,100.

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