The Illinois unemployment rate fell a tenth of a percent during the month of July.

Illinois' unemployment fell last month to 4.2%, down from 4.3% the previous month. The Illinois Department of Employment Security, along with the national payrolls, shows Illinois payroll employment has been varied since the beginning of the year. July's 4.2% unemployment rate was the same rate as the same month in 2018.

Illinois Department of Revenue spokesman Sam Salustro said the unemployment numbers are “an encouraging sign because we’re also seeing the labor force increase at the same exact time.”

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The number of unemployed workers fell 1.7% from the previous month, and down 0.7% from a year ago.

“The combination of increased jobs, decreased unemployed workers and a growing labor force means that there are more people working, more people looking to work, and more people coming off the sidelines to come into the workforce.”

The Illinois unemployment rate continues to be a half percentage point higher than the national rate of 3.7%. Salustro said that’s normal.

“The fact that we’re about a half a point up is pretty historically indicative of where we usually are,” he said.

The July numbers showed the labor force in Illinois grew slightly, up a tenth a percent from the previous month. Compared to a year ago, the labor force in Illinois has grown by six-tenths of a percent.

The unemployment rate represents the number of people in the state who are without a job and seeking employment.

Illinois Deputy Governor Dan Hynes credited the summer’s capital spending plan for some of the job growth.

“This administration has been hard at work supporting our state’s recent strong job growth with policies aimed at raising wages for workers while investing in education and workforce development,” Hynes said in a statement. “Gov. [J.B.] Pritzker recently signed a bipartisan budget and capital bill that restores fiscal responsibility to state government and makes the critical investments in our roads and bridges to ensure Illinois is well-positioned for continued economic growth.”

Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Erin Guthrie echoed the praise for the governor.

“Illinois is home to an innovative business community and a talented workforce comprised of the hardest working people in the country," he said "By signing legislation like the apprenticeship tax credit and the data center tax incentive, Gov. Pritzker is laying the groundwork for continued job growth across the state.”

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