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Unemployment in Illinois Reaches New High

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 12, 2009 4:00PM

Illinois's unemployment rate nearly topped eight percent in January, according to data released this week by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Unemployment hit 7.9 percent in January, the highest since 1993. In total, some 518,600 people are out of work statewide, a number not seen since 1985. “In such difficult times, it is important to remain positive and maximize the services the department provides,” IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell said in the statement. Manufacturing, along with business and professional services were the sectors that have been hardest hit, shedding 11,000 jobs and 7,000 jobs, respectively. While statewide unemployment is slightly higher than the national average of 7.6 percent, it's not as bad as California, where joblessness topped 10 percent last month. (Unless you include under-employment which KNX1070 AM did the other day, putting the number for Los Angeles at 20 percent.)