Illinois jobless rate falls in June but workforce shrunk

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ unemployment rate fell for a second straight month in June but state officials said the drop was due at least in part to people leaving the workforce.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that the jobless rate for June fell to 6.2 percent from 6.4 percent the previous month. May’s decrease was the first drop after seven straight months of increases.

Director Jeff Mays said in a news release that Illinois’ workforce declined by 2,200 in June and the state has lost more than 9,000 manufacturing jobs over the past year.

But the state still has more jobs than it did a year earlier. The agency says the current workforce is 1.9 percent larger than it was in June 2015.

The national unemployment rate is 4.9 percent.