Illinois jobless rate reaches 10.4%

Illinois' jobless rate rose to 10.4 percent in July even though the pace of job losses is slowing.

That's up slightly from 10.3 percent in June.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security released the new figures Thursday. They show the state lost another 13,000 jobs in July, bringing the number of unemployed statewide to 692,500.

IDES Director Maureen O'Donnell says the state's economy must go through several phases before it sees job growth.

The U.S. jobless rate dropped to 9.4 percent in July, from 9.5 percent the previous month. Employers also laid off far fewer workers nationally and workers' hours and pay edged upward.

Unemployment rates for the metro-east and other Illinois metropolitan areas will be released next Thursday.

The metro-east unemployment rate continued to climb in June, topping 9 percent and remaining at levels not seen in more than two decades. The eight-county region of Southwestern Illinois witnessed unemployment jump by almost 2 percentage points in the past 12 months.

The jobless rate for St. Clair County jumped from 6.9 percent in June 2008 and 8.5 percent in May 2009 to 9.4 percent last month. Madison County's jobless rate also soared to 9.3 percent last month after reaching 5.9 percent in June 2008 and 8.5 percent in May.