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Illinois Unemployment Rates Drop Across the Board in September

In Oak Park, the unemployment rate dropped from August to September this year and is well below the state and county averages, according to data released last week.

The unemployment rates in Illinois is still above 8 percent, but most communities saw a decrease in out-of-work residents in September 2012, according to new figures released last week. 

September local unemployment rates fell in every metro area compared to last year, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

 "This month's report highlights that we have made steady progress in lowering the unemployment rate, but more needs to be done," IDES Director Jay Rowell said in a news release. "Hiring managers need to see consistent, long-term tax policy and spending priorities by the federal government before we will see stronger hiring increases."

IDES generally reports unemployment figures for municipalities with populations of 25,000 or more people. The numbers measure unemployment for residents who live in a certain town, not those who work in the town. 

Statewide the unemployment rate dropped from 8.9 percent in August 2012 to 8.1 percent in September. Compared to September 2011, unemployment in Illinois has dropped 1.7 percent. 

Although fewer people are out of work in Illinois as of late, the rate still lags behind the national average of 7.6 percent unemployment. Illinois saw slightly larger gains in the last month, though, with a .9 percent drop compared to .6 percent nationally. 

Sept. 2012 Aug. 2012 Sept. 2011 % Change Over Month % Change Over Year Oak Park 6.2 7.1 7.9 -0.9 -1.7 Chicago 9.4 10.3 11.9 -0.9 -2.5 Cook County 8.5 9.3 10.7 -0.8 -2.2 Illinois 8.1 8.9 9.8 -0.8 -1.7 U.S. Average 7.6 8.2 8.8 -0.6 -1.2

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