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All 12 Illinois metro areas saw unemployment rates fall in December

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CHICAGO — Unemployment rates continued to fall in all 12 of Illinois' metro areas in December.

But Thursday's monthly report from the Illinois Department of Employment Security also showed the number of jobs grew in just half of them.

Department Director Jeff Mays noted that in several places jobless rates "remain stubbornly higher than the statewide average" and "job growth has lagged."

Like November's results, the biggest unemployment improvements for December were in some of the state's hardest-hit areas. Decatur's jobless rate fell to 7.5 percent from 12.4 percent in December 2013. Danville's rate dropped to 7.6 percent from 12.4. And in Rockford it fell to 7.8 percent from 11.7.

The statewide rate was 5.7 percent for the month. Illinois unemployment peaked this economic cycle at 12.2 percent in January 2010.

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