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updated: 8/17/2012 7:10 AM

Illinois unemployment edges up again in July

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Associated Press

Illinois' unemployment rate increased again in July with the loss of thousands of government and hospitality jobs.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that the July unemployment rate hit 8.9 percent. That's up from 8.7 percent in June and was the second straight increase after nine months of steady decreases.

Department Director Jay Rowell says the increase was expected since national unemployment continues to rise. Rowell adds that declines in government employment are likely to continue.

The federal government last week said the U.S. unemployment rate increased a tenth of a percentage point to 8.3 percent.

Governments shed 7,900 jobs in July in Illinois, and leisure and hospitality employers cut 4,300 jobs. Manufacturers continued to add jobs and increased their employment by 1,700 positions.

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