The unemployment rate is down sharply in Illinois, but there are some quirks in the new report out Thursday.
For April, unemployment was 7.9 percent, down from 8.4 percent in March. That may be the biggest one-month decline in the rate ever, says Jay Rowell, head of the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
“This is the largest one-month decline since they started keeping these statistics and this data series, and that was in 1976, so it’s possible it could have been the largest decline prior to that, but they’ve only been keeping the data this way since 1976,” he said.
Rowell characterized the unemployment report as “good news,” even though the rate is “not low enough.”
The Illinois unemployment is at its lowest level since 2008, and the number of unemployed people fell 35,700 (6.5 percent) to 516,000. However, employment fell by 6,800 jobs (0.1 percent). The only explanation is that numbers on employment and unemployment come from different surveys which are susceptible to fluctuations.
The national unemployment rate is 6.3 percent.