• Associated Press
The state Department of Employment Security says Illinois unemployment fell in July to 6.8 percent. It was the fifth straight monthly decrease in the state's jobless rate.
The July figure represents a drop from 9.2 percent one year ago and marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower than 6.8 was in August 2008 when it was 6.7. There are 35,600 more jobs than one year ago.
The monthly employment report that the department released Thursday shows employers creating 11,200 private-sector jobs.
Department Director Jay Rowell says the falling jobless rate "seems to be picking up momentum with the warmer weather." The federal government said earlier this month that national unemployment rate edged up to 6.2 percent in July.