Unemployment hits record low in Iowa, stays steady in Illinois

Unemployment benefits (ThinkStock)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s unemployment rate has fallen below 3 percent for the first time in 17 years.

Iowa Workforce Development announced Friday that Iowa’s November unemployment rate was 2.9 percent, down slightly from October’s 3 percent rate.

The unemployment decline came as the number of unemployed residents fell to 49,100, more than 10,000 people lower than a year ago. The number of working Iowans was about 2,000 higher than in October.

Iowa’s unemployment rate compares to a national rate of 4.1 percent.

The numbers aren’t quite as rosy in Illinois.

According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the statewide unemployment rate in the Land of Lincoln stands at 4.7 percent, down from 5.7 percent at the same point in 2016, but still a half-percentage point higher than the U.S. average.

The unemployment rate in Rock Island County is 5.0 percent and in Scott County it is 3.1 percent.