Unemployment up again in March in Illinois, hits 6.5 percent

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ unemployment rate edged up again in March as the state added jobs but not enough to keep pace with the number of people looking for work.

The state Department of Employment Security said Thursday that unemployment hit 6.5 percent in March. That was up from 6.4 percent in February and the fifth straight monthly increase.

Department director Jeff Mays pointed out that the increase in the unemployment rate comes in spite of the state adding 14,700 more jobs in March than it lost.

The national unemployment rate for March was 5 percent.

In Illinois the leisure and hospitality industry sector added a net 6,300 jobs in March and construction employment grew by 4,100 jobs.

Manufacturers cut a net 3,100 jobs and professional and business services firms shrunk by 1,400 jobs.

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