Illinois unemployment dropped to 5.5% in August as labor force shrank

From the Chicago Tribune: Illinois’ unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in August, the lowest it has been since the start of the Great Recession, but there was little cause to celebrate as most of the drop stemmed from a decline in the labor force.

Last month’s unemployment rate is down from 5.8 percent in July; the rate was also 5.8 percent in August of last year, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Illinois’ economic recovery has lagged that of the nation, which has had a 4.9 percent unemployment rate for several months.

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