CHICAGO (STMW)–The unemployment rate in the Chicago metropolitan area fell to 8.8 percent in August from 10.5 percent a year earlier and down from 9.2 percent in July, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.

The rate dropped year-over-year in 11 of the state’s 12 metropolitan areas, the agency said, citing seasonally unadjusted data.

The Chicago area added 35,000 jobs and was among eight metropolitan areas in the state where the number of jobs grew.
Payrolls fell in three areas and were unchanged in one.

“This economic cycle is filled with small up-and-down movements in the monthly data,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said in a statement. “While the uneven movements shadow the progress that we have made, stronger economic growth will occur when consumer confidence improves.”

The highest unemployment rate in the state was in the Rockford area at 11.7 percent, down from 13.8 percent a year earlier; followed by the Decatur area at 11.4 percent, up from 11.2 percent; and the Kankakee-Bradley area, at 11.4 percent, down from 12.4 percent.

The lowest jobless rate in the state was in the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island area at 7.2 percent, down from 7.5 percent followed by the Bloomington-Normal area at 7.3 percent, down from 7.8 percent; and the Springfield area at 7.9 percent, down from 8 percent.

Following the Chicago area, the biggest job gains year-over-year were in the Peoria area at 4,200, the Rockford area at 3,000 and the Lake County-Kenosha County Metropolitan Division at 1,600.

Job losses were reported in the Illinois section of the St. Louis metropolitan area, down 3,300; the Danville area, down 600; and the Decatur area, down 300.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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