Jobless Rate Drops in Rockford

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CHICAGO (AP) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment fell in March in 10 of the state's 12 metro areas.

Department Director Jay Rowell says the numbers released Thursday indicate the state's economy is improving and people are becoming more confident about it.

Rockford's unemployment rate fell from 11.8 to 10.9 percent compared to March 2013.

Joblessness in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metro area fell sharply from 9.3 percent to 8.1 percent.

Elsewhere the sharpest decline was in the Kankakee-Bradley area. The jobless rate there sank from 11.8 percent to 10.7 percent.

Unemployment was up slightly to 11.1 percent in Danville and 7.1 percent in Bloomington-Normal.

Earlier this month the department said Illinois' jobless rate for March was 8.4 percent. That remains one of the country's highest jobless rates.

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