- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - For the fifth time in the past six months the unemployment rate dropped in each of Illinois’s 12 metro areas in November.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security also said Tuesday in its monthly report on metro-level unemployment that the number of jobs grew in just six metro areas.

According to the department, the biggest unemployment improvements were in some of the hardest-hit areas in the state. Decatur’s jobless rate fell from 12.2 percent in November 2013 to 7.9 percent. Unemployment in Rockford dropped from 11.4 percent to 8.1. And the Danville area unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 12.2.

Department Director Jay Rowell said local economies are improving at a “steady, deliberate” pace.

The department said earlier this month that statewide unemployment dropped to 6.4 percent in November.

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