(SPRINGFIELD, IL) — The Illinois Department of Employment Security has released the results of the April unemployment rates. Labor market conditions continued to improve in April 2017 throughout South Central Illinois compared to one year ago. All eighteen counties reported a decline in unemployment. The data is not seasonally adjusted. Employment in Professional-Business Services and Leisure-Hospitality advanced in April 2017. Construction activity also increased this spring. Over the year, employment gains were reported in Manufacturing, Transportation and Health Services in South Central Illinois. Mining, Information, and State and Local Government employment continued to steadily decline in South Central Illinois. Numerous employment opportunities were available in Health Care, Sales, Transportation, and Office and Administrative Support in the spring of 2017. Many job openings were advertised in Engineering, Management, Food Preparation, Computer, and Production occupations. Workers were needed in Health Care Support, Finance, Installation, Maintenance, and Repair, and Building and Grounds Maintenance. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. In Jefferson County, April unemployment was at 4.9 percent, down .5% from March and 1.2% from April 2016. Marion County was also at 4.9 percent, down .6% from March, and down 1.2% from last year. Hamilton County was at 4.3 percent, down .8% from a month ago, and down from a 6.1% percent showing for April 2016. Clinton County was at 3.2 percent, down .5% from last month, and down 1.1% percent from last year. Washington County was at 2.6 percent for the month, down .5% from last month, and down .9% from last year. Wayne County’s unemployment rate is at 6 percent, down .7% from last month, and down 2.2% from last year at this time.