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Lake County jobless rate drops to 8 percent

Updated: December 25, 2012 1:15AM

Lake County’s unemployment rate dropped to 8 percent in September, the lowest rate in four years and down from 8.9 percent a year ago, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

The Chicago area’s unemployment rate stood at 8.8 percent in August.

All areas of the state had declines in unemployment from a year ago, and all are seeing their lowest unemployment rates since September 2008, said IDES spokesman Greg Rivara.

The largest declines in unemployment were Rockford, down 2.6 points to 11 percent from 13.6 percent a year ago, followed by Chicago metro and Kankakee-Bradley, down 1.3 points to 10.5 percent from last September’s 11.8 percent.

The Chicago area saw the largest year-over-year growth, a 4.4 percent increase, in jobs in professional and business services such as accounting, bookkeeping, architectural services and at companies that supply temporary workers to client businesses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other significant increases were the hospitality industry, up 2.7 percent year-over-year, and manufacturing, up 2.6 percent, the BLS data showed.

The Lake-Kenosha County area saw a gain of 2,700 jobs in September compared to September 2011, according to the IDES.

“Hiring managers need to see consistent, long-term tax policy and spending priorities by the federal government before we will see stronger hiring increases,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell.

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