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Apr 23, 1:54 PM EDT

State officials report drop in Illinois' metro unemployment

CHICAGO (AP) -- State officials say unemployment dropped in March in each of Illinois' metropolitan areas for the 13th consecutive month.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday that jobs were added in eight of the 14 regions with the largest increases in Kankakee, Rockford and Danville. Areas that saw a drop in the number of jobs include Decatur, Carbondale and Bloomington.

Illinois' not seasonally adjusted rate in March was 6.3 percent. The peak was 12.2 percent in January 2010. Nationally the rate was 5.6 in March with a 10.6 percent peak in 2010.

Areas that saw growth included retail trade, transportation and warehousing and public utilities.

The unemployment rate measures those who are out of a job and looking for work. It isn't tied to collecting unemployment benefits.

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