Thursday, March 12, 2009
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Ill. unemployment jumps to 7.9 pct.

12th consecutive month for job losses

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[March 12, 2009]  CHICAGO -- The seasonally adjusted January 2009 unemployment rate in Illinois was 7.9 percent, up from the revised December 2008 rate of 7.2 percent, according to data released Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. In January, Illinois experienced its highest unemployment rate since April 1993 and reached its highest level for the number of unemployed (518,600) since November 1985. For the first time in seven years, the Illinois economy in January recorded its 12th consecutive month of job loss, decreasing by 29,300. Over the year, Illinois employers have reduced payrolls by 175,100 jobs.

Donuts"In such difficult times, it is important to remain positive and to maximize the services the department provides," said Maureen O'Donnell, director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. "Filing for unemployment insurance online, receiving benefits through direct deposit and using our career counseling tips are positive steps people can take now to better prepare for the future."

Nationally, the unemployment rate continued to climb in January, reaching a 16-year high of 7.6 percent. Payroll employment in January fell for the 13th consecutive month, dropping 655,000 jobs and bringing total national job losses to 3.7 million since the recession began in December 2007.

In Illinois, the manufacturing industry lost 10,800 workers in January, its largest over-the-month reduction since July 2001. In the last four months, the work force in this sector has declined by approximately 3.5 percent. The professional and business services category also dropped in January, reporting 6,900 fewer workers, its second-largest decrease since January 1996.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security administers federally funded employment services and unemployment insurance through its nearly 60 offices, including the Illinois workNet Centers. IDES also receives federal grants to provide and analyze labor market statistics and information.

(See tables for seasonally adjusted unemployment rates.)

[Text from Illinois Department of Employment Security file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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