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Jobless rates fall in all 12 Illinois metro areas for second straight month

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CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment fell in all of Illinois' 12 metro areas in May. It was the second straight month of across-the-board declines.

Department Director Jay Rowell said Thursday that the numbers reflect growing consumer confidence and discretionary spending.

The improvement in metro unemployment rates mirrors recent drops in the state's unemployment rate. The department said earlier this month that the jobless rate fell to 7.5 percent.

The biggest drop in May was in the Rockford area where unemployment fell from 10.3 percent a year earlier to 8.9 percent. The jobless rate also fell sharply in the Decatur area from 10.4 percent to 9.1 percent.

The lowest unemployment among Illinois' metro areas was found in Springfield and Bloomington-Normal. Unemployment was at 6 percent in both.

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