Ill. unemployment rate drops to 9.1%

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate dropped in February for the sixth-straight month.

The department says the February jobless rate fell to 9.1% from 9.4% in January. That's still much higher than the national 8.3% rate.

Department Director Jay Rowell calls the drop a sign that the state continues its steady recovery from recession.

Illinois added 6,500 jobs in February. That's almost double the 3,800 jobs added in January.

The biggest gains were in the construction industry. That sector accounted for 6,000 new jobs in February.

Companies in the trade, transportation and utilities sector shed 5,800 jobs.

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