With the unemployment rate at 9.5 percent in March 2013 in the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metropolitan division, job seekers might be wondering which sectors are currently adding jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate is not on a seasonally adjusted basis. It also represents a decrease from the February 2013 rate of 10.3 percent, which was also not on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Several sectors in the area saw gains in employment in March 2013 when compared to March 2012, according to preliminary data by the BLS. Professional and business services saw an uptick of 2.9 percent from year-ago levels. Careers in the professional and business services sector include legal services, accounting, tax preparation, advertising, and architectural and engineering services.

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The education and health services sector also saw an increase, with an uptick of 2.4 percent from March 2012. Careers in the education sector include teachers and instructors at schools and universities, while careers in the health services sector include nurses, doctors, dentists and other professionals who provide care.

Jobs in the financial activities category increased 1.6 percent from March 2012. This category includes jobs in finance and insurance, as well as real estate, renting and leasing.

On a seasonally adjusted rate, the unemployment rate in the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metropolitan division was 9.5 percent in March 2013; that represented an increase from 9.4 percent in February 2013, and an increase from the unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in March 2012. This is according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

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The Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan division includes Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, McHenry and Will counties.

How does the Chicago metro division compare to the national unemployment rate? On a seasonally adjusted rate, the national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in March 2013 and represented a slight dip from the 7.7 percent in February 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The March rate was also down from 8.4 percent posted in March 2012. On the national level, the unemployment rate might be turning around.

Gary Bozza, president of MR Chicago in Lake Zurich, Illinois helps place executives in companies in both the Chicago area and nationwide. According to Bozza, there is a shift in the job market. “The unemployment rate is at a four-year low, but the weak jobs report for March indicates that our economic recovery is still slow,” Bozza said, referring to the national unemployment rate. “We shouldn’t read too much into a one-month slowdown, because job growth was exceptionally strong in the first two months of this year, and is higher than the BLS previously estimated. January job growth was revised up from 119,000 to 148,000. February was revised from 236,000 to 268,000. Those revised numbers suggest that some hiring might have again occurred earlier in the year than usual,” he explained.

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Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.