CHICAGO (AP) - Unemployment continued to drop slowly across Illinois in May, partly due to job growth in manufacturing.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday that unemployment fell to 8.6 percent in May. It was the ninth straight monthly decrease and was down from 8.7 percent in April. The federal government reported earlier this month that the May national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent. That was up slightly from April's 8.1 percent.
Department of Employment Security Director Jay Rowell says long-term trends continue to indicate a slowly improving economy.
Illinois manufacturers added 4,800 jobs in May. The sector has been one of the strengths of the state's economy.
But the professional and business services sector shed 5,600 jobs. That sector includes temporary workers and a number who work in manufacturing.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)