Illinois' unemployment rate dropped 0.5 points to 7.9 percent in April, representing the state's lowest jobless level since December 2008, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced Thursday.
“More people working is another sign that our economy is on the rebound,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell. “As Illinois’ economy continues to gain momentum, April’s numbers reflect more people getting back to work and more employers adapting to the new national economy.”
In March, the state's unemployment rate was 8.4 percent. Illinois' 7.9 percent unemployment rate in April is still higher than the national rate, which fell to 6.3 percent last month.
The number of unemployed individuals in the state dropped 6.5 percent in April to 516,000, IDES said.
Gov. Pat Quinn applauded news of April's unemployment rate hitting a five-year low.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner called it "disappointing to see Pat Quinn celebrate Illinois keeping the worst unemployment rate in the Midwest and one of the highest in the entire nation.”
Quinn responded to Rauner's remarks at a news conference at Cicero-based United Gasket Corporation.
“Rather than having some grumpy person complaining all the time, we’re celebrating here a wonderful company that’s doing well,” Quinn said.
“We’re not going to be kicking our state in the shin," the governor added. "There are those on the other side that I guess are unhappy any times there’s good economic news."