March unemployment rate lowest in five years

By WEEK Producer

March unemployment rate lowest in five years

April 17, 2014 Updated Apr 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM CDT

CHICAGO -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security released numbers Thursday showing that the state unemployment rate has fallen to 8.4 percent, the lowest mark in five years.

That percentage is down from last year's mark of 9.2 percent and last month's rate of 8.7 percent.

“Today’s drop in the unemployment rate highlights significant progress in our state,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Our monthly numbers will continue to show uneven but measurable progress. Consumer confidence and its related spending remains a key driver of our economic growth, especially in construction and manufacturing.”

The IDES says that the rate fell despite more people entering the labor force to look for work.

In addition, the state recorded 3,200 fewer jobs than in February but 29,400 more than last March.

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