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May brings Illinois 15th straight month of falling jobless rates in every metro area

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CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment rates dropped again during May in all 15 Illinois metro areas. Three of those areas have returned to pre-recession employment levels.

The department said Thursday that jobless rates fell for the 15th straight month in every Illinois metro area.

Department Director Jeff Mays noted the Elgin, Lake-Kenosha and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metro areas in northeastern Illinois have all returned to pre-recession unemployment rates. In the Chicago area that means 6 percent unemployment while the other two have jobless rates just below 5 percent.

All but three metro areas added jobs in May. Decatur, Peoria and Carbondale-Marion lost jobs.

Bloomington had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent while Decatur's 6.2 percent was the highest.

Statewide unemployment was 5.6 percent in May.

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