Illinois’ unemployment rate continues to creep upward

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CHICAGO (AP) — The unemployment rate across Illinois again creeped up in March even as the state added jobs.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that the jobless rate hit 6.6 percent in April. That was up from 6.5 percent in March and came in spite of news that the state’s job base grew by 5,400.

Department Director Jeff Mays said in a news release that more than half of those new jobs were temporary positions or with employment agencies.

Illinois’ unemployment rate has increased for six straight months.

The national unemployment rate for April was 5 percent.

In Illinois, the biggest employment gains for April were in the professional and business services sector where 7,600 jobs were added. Employers in the other services sector cut the most jobs, 2,300.