- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - The state Department of Employment Security says unemployment rates dropped in June in all 12 Illinois metro areas. It was the third straight month of across-the-board decreases.

Department Director Jay Rowell said Thursday in the agency’s monthly report on metro unemployment that the trend of encouraging employment data shows real economic improvement.

The department said earlier this month that statewide unemployment fell to 7.1 percent in June. That’s higher than the 6.1 percent national rate but the lowest point for the state figure since 2008.

Sharp declines in unemployment were reported last month in high-unemployment areas. The Danville jobless rate fell from 11.6 percent a year ago to 9.3 percent. In Rockford the rate fell from 11.4 percent to 8.9. And in Decatur it dropped from 12.5 percent to 9.2.

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