State

Illinois jobless rate holds steady at 8.7 percent

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment held steady across the state in February at 8.7 percent.

The department said Thursday that the statewide jobless rate was unchanged from January. The federal government said earlier this month that the nationwide unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent. Illinois has one of the highest jobless rates among U.S. states.

The department said Illinois added a net 6,400 jobs in February. That's an improvement from January when the state lost jobs.

Companies that work in the professional and business services sector added 10,400 jobs in February and leisure and hospitality employers added 4,000 jobs. But firms in trade, transportation and utilities cut 6,100 jobs.

Manufacturing companies continued their decline in January by dropping a net 1,100 jobs.

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