CHICAGO (STMW) – For a third straight month, the unemployment rate dropped in Chicago and every other metropolitan area across Illinois in November compared with a year ago.

It’s the first time that’s happened in four years — “ further evidence that the Illinois economy is on the right path,” Maureen O’Donnell, director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security, said Thursday.

In Chicago, the rate fell from 10.3 precent in November 2009 to 8.9 percent last month. That was among the biggest drops in unemployment in the state.

Despite the good year-to-year news, the unemployment rate in the Chicago area in November was unchanged from October.

The metropolitan area that recorded the largest year-to-year decline: Rockford, where the unemployment rate dropped from 15.5 percent to 13.7 percent, still the highest in Illinois, though, followed by the Kankakee-Bradley area, which fell from 12.9 percent unemployed to 12.1 percent; and the Danville area, which fell from 11.7 percent to 11 percent.

The lowest unemployment rates were in Bloomington-Normal, at 7.1 percent, down from 7.7 percent a year ago; and Springfield, 7.5 percent, down from 7.9 percent.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Watch & Listen LIVE