Illinois unemployment dips with shrinking labor force

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CHICAGO (AP) _ Illinois officials say the April unemployment rate dipped 0.2 percentage points to 4.7 percent.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday that non-farm payrolls decreased by 7,200 jobs over the month. That’s based on preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .

IDES Director Jeff Mays says the drop in unemployment was because of a shrinking labor force.

Officials say March job growth numbers were revised up to show a drop of 7,700 jobs. That’s fewer than the 8,900 jobs originally estimated were lost.

April’s monthly payroll drop kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average.

Statistics indicate payroll declines in March and April. That leaves Illinois 25,600 jobs short of reaching its prior peak employment reached in September 2000.