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With shaky global economy, Illinois said goodbye to over 16,000 jobs in December and hello to a higher unemployment rate, according to the latest jobs numbers.

For the year, the Illinois Department of Employment Security says Illinois saw a total of 3,000 jobs lost, the first time since 2009 the state ended the year with fewer jobs than it started with. Evelina Loescher, labor market information director at IDES, says some job losses were seasonal jobs but there are also fears about a slowdown in the global economy.

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Steve Rauschenberger, president of the Technology and Manufacturing Association and a former state Senator, agrees but says it’s also alarming when comparing Illinois to other midwestern states.

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IDES says Illinois’ unemployment rate is up to 5.9 percent, nearly a full percentage point higher than the rate for the entire U.S., which sits at 5 percent.

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