CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment dropped during May in nine of the state's dozen metro areas.
The department said Thursday in its monthly metro report that the biggest decreases were in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville and Rockford areas. Unemployment dropped from 10.1 percent in May 2011 to 8.6 percent last month in greater Chicago and from 11.3 percent to 10.4 percent in Rockford.
Department Director Jay Rowell called May's data a reason for cautious optimism.
Most of the increases were small - from 6.6 to 6.7 percent in Springfield and from 9.3 to 9.5 percent in Decatur. Joblessness was up more substantially in the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis where the rate increased from 8 percent to 8.4 percent.
Statewide unemployment dropped slightly to 8.6 percent in May.
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