CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois’ unemployment rate has hit its lowest level in more than a decade.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday that the unemployment rate hit 4.6 percent in March. That’s the lowest it’s been since March 2007.

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But it’s still higher than the national rate of 4.1 percent. Nonetheless Director Jeff Mays says he’s encouraged by the stabilization of the labor force.

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The state has seen more than 39,000 new jobs added over the past year. Most of the growth can be attributed to the manufacturing and financial sectors. Professional and business services have seen a decline.

The unemployment rate considers those who are out of work and actively seeking employment.

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