Illinois unemployment falls below 6 percent in June

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in June. It was the first time the state jobless rate fell below 6 percent since 2008.

The department said Thursday in its monthly unemployment report that the state nonetheless lost 7,500 jobs for the month.

The state jobless rate fell from 6 percent in May. Nationally, unemployment was 5.3 percent in June.

In Illinois, companies in the transportation and utilities, financial activities and educational and health services sectors added the largest numbers of jobs in June.

Construction and leisure and hospitality firms reported the largest declines.

The number of unemployed people looking for work across Illinois dropped 2.5 percent in June to 382,400.