Illinois unemployment rate holds at 5.5%

- State officials say the unemployment rate in Illinois held steady at 5.5 percent in September and the number of jobs in the state grew.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday in its monthly unemployment report that the state added 7,400 jobs since August and has added 43,400 jobs since September 2015.

The report noted that the largest job gains were in service-related sectors and that manufacturing firms and financial-activities companies cut more jobs than they added.

Department Director Jeff Mays said the state's job growth remains "uneven."

Illinois' jobless rate has now either fallen or held steady for five straight months.

The national unemployment rate for September was up slightly to 5 percent.

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