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A pharmaceutical plant in Decatur is expanding and could eventually add jobs, city officials said.

Akorn Inc. on Thursday broke ground on a project that will add 40,000 square feet to its plant. The company recently bought a neighboring property to accommodate the expansion.

Akorn is also remodeling and modernizing equipment as part of an $18 million project to increase production.

The Decatur-based maker of generic pharmaceuticals employs 435 people and says the expansion could create more jobs.

Decatur has struggled with high unemployment in recent years due in part to layoffs by other manufacturers.

The state Department of Employment Security says the unemployment rate in the area was 9.4 percent last month. That's down from 12.5 percent a year earlier.

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