Despite adding 12,400 jobs in February, Illinois' unemployment rate jumped from 8.9 percent last year to 9.5 percent this year, according to the latest statistics from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. State officials say some job growth has encouraged more people to look for work especially those who gave up trying to look during the recession. State officials those who re entered the labor force for pushinig the unemployment rate higher. While the state added over twelve thousand new jobs in the past month, it lost 7500 construction jobs over the past year. The biggest employment gains were in trade, transportation, professional services and education. .
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