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Most Illinois metro areas see jobless rates rise

CHICAGO (AP) — State officials say unemployment in most of Illinois' metro areas followed the statewide jobless rate and increased in February.

The Department of Employment Security said Thursday that unemployment increased in 10 of the state's 12 metro areas. Only the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island area and St. Louis' Metro East suburbs had slight decreases.

The department said last week that February statewide unemployment rose to 9.5 percent. Officials said increases were driven in part by more people resuming long-dormant searches for work. But experts pointed to new signs of weakness in manufacturing and other areas.

Decatur had the state's highest jobless rate. It spiked from 10.9 percent in February 2012 to 13.7 percent. The Rockford area rate jumped from 13 percent to 13.4.

The Chicago-Joliet-Naperville unemployment rate rose from 8.6 to 9.3 percent.

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