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Employment reports mixed

A recent Illinois Department of Employment Security report indicated a slight drop in the state’s unemployment from 5.0% to 4.9%, which represents an increase of 3,400 non-farm payroll jobs. Jobs growth varies according to region, however.

Non-farm jobs increased in eight metro areas from October 2016 to October 2017, with the largest increases in Carbondale-Marion (up 2.1 percent, adding 1,200 jobs), Kankakee (up 2.0 percent, adding 900 jobs), and Lake-Kenosha (up 1.3 percent, adding 5,300). The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division saw the largest jobs growth in raw terms, adding 20,800 new jobs, an increase of 0.6 percent.

However, not all metro areas posted gains. The largest losses are in Danville (down 1 percent, losing 300 jobs), Springfield (down 0.9 percent, losing 1,100), and Champaign (down 0.5 percent, losing 600).

Without Chicago-area gains, the state would have suffered a net loss of 2,600 jobs over the year, instead of adding 18,200 jobs.

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