CHAMPAIGN -- The state Department of Employment Security says Illinois unemployment rose to 9 percent in January.
That was up from 8.7 percent in December and back to almost the 9.1 percent rate of January 2012.
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Department Director Jay Rowell blamed the uneven recovery the state has experienced since the recession.
The number of unemployed people in the state rose by 4 percent to 594,800. The state added a relatively small 7,100 jobs in January.
The biggest job losses were among companies in the trade, transportation and utilities sector where the state lost a net 5,500 jobs in January. Government agencies also shed a net 1,500 jobs. Educational and health services employers added 5,500 jobs.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in January. That was slightly higher than December.