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Employment stats looking up in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD -- Things are looking up on Illinois' job front with the state adding more private-sector jobs and unemployment rates falling back in most metro areas.
SPRINGFIELD -- Things are looking up on Illinois' job front with the state adding more private-sector jobs and unemployment rates falling back in most metro areas. WCIA-3's Alex Davis keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce (GSCC)touts the Springfield metro has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state; second only to Bloomington-Normal. The State Department of Employment Security released October's unemployment rates Thursday.

"The state, as a whole, as I read the numbers, has turned around."

Springfield is now at 7.1% unemployment. It's faring better than the state rate of 8.3%. But, that's not all.

Steward Sandstrom, with GSCC, says October was a record-setting month for jobless claims.

"If you look at 2013 as a whole, it is year-to-date so far the best year that we've seen since we've been keeping track, which goes back to 2002."

That good news means, "fewer people lost their jobs."

And big jobs in the Capitol City?

"Year over year, healthcare, retail are two of the larger ones. Education is in there as well."

He says the stats could offer some optimism for the near-future.

"The numbers for the state, as a whole, with some exceptions in different metro areas, as always, the numbers for the state, as a whole, are positive as well."

With one of those exceptions being Decatur. With 11.7%, that city has the highest unemployment rate. The reason for that?

"Decatur has always been pretty much known for manufacturing. We do make things here still. We don't rely on the government like Springfield does, the University that Champaign does, or State Farm the way Bloomington does. We continue to make things here, so we ride the wave of the global economy."

It's something Patrick Hoban says is not so bad.

"Being the top 25 global trade community as the world economy goes up , so do our jobs and, as it goes down, we ride with it."

With 7.6% unemployment, Champaign-Urbana is also faring better than the state rate.
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