DECATUR - The Decatur area unemployment rate for April showed more improvement than in previous months.
The unemployment rate was 12.8 percent, a 2.8 percentage point increase from April 2009, according to Illinois Department of Employment Security statistics released Thursday. It had been 13.8 percent in March.
It was still the highest unemployment rate in the Decatur area since 1983 when it was 16.3 percent.
In recent months, the unemployment rate had climbed around 4 or 5 percentage points from the previous year.
The hard-hit manufacturing sector lost 900 jobs as that number improved as well. Other sectors declined including construction, professional and business services and leisure and hospitality.
Over the year, Decatur lost 2,400 jobs.
"Four consecutive months of smaller increases in this rate is encouraging because it offers another measure that indicates this national recession might be nearing an end," IDES Director Maureen O'Donnell said.
For more on this story, see Friday's Herald & Review.