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Illinois unemployment falls, but state loses jobs

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CHICAGO (AP) – The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the statewide unemployment rate fell in September but the state lost jobs.

The department said Friday in its monthly report that unemployment fell to 5.4 percent in September. That was down from 5.6 percent in August but still higher than the 5.1 percent national rate.

The department pointed out that Illinois lost a net 6,900 jobs in September. Department director Jeff Mays said the state’s job growth is “dismal.”

Employment sectors that grew in September included the gain of 2,100 positions in government and a net 1,400 new jobs in education and health care.

Illinois manufacturers cut a combined 1,800 jobs last month. Companies in the trade, transportation and utilities sector shed 6,400 more jobs than they added.