State Jobless Rate Highest in 18 Years

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2009  |  Updated 3:00 PM CDT
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State Jobless Rate Highest in 18 Years

Getty Images/John-Francis Bourke

Illinois' unemployment rate jumped to 8.6 percent last month, the highest it's been since December 1991.

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Illinois' unemployment rate jumped to 8.6 percent last month, the highest it's been since December 1991.

February's rate is up from 7.8 percent in January.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said 37,200 people lost jobs last month, bringing to 570,100 the number of Illinoisans without jobs. That's the most since November 1983.

Manufacturing was hardest-hit it February, losing 16,400 jobs. The professional and business services sector lost 12,300 jobs.

IDES Director Maureen O'Donnell said a state capital program is needed to help reverse the trend.

The national unemployment rate stands at a 25-year high of 8.1 percent.

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