SPRINGFIELD, IL (KMOX) – Illinois’ unemployment rate held steady in January at 5.7 percent.

That’s down only slightly from January 2016’s rate of 6.1 percent. State Department of Employment Security spokesman Bob Gough says about 1700 jobs were added in January.

“We actually saw some gains in construction, which is not in the norm for January, and also we had a slight pickup in transportation, trade and utilities. We had drop-offs though in government and in professional business services,” he says.

Gough says the state would have nearly 223,000 more jobs than it does now if it simply grew at the same rate as the rest of the nation since 2010.

“We’re still behind the national average in many locations, especially, even though we talk monthly about the dichotomy between Chicago and downstate, even the growth that Chicago is seeing is far below its other metro rivals,” he says.

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