Illinois' unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent in April, improving for the 15th consecutive month.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security released the new figures on Thursday.
IDES Acting Director Theresa Larkin says the long-term trend shows that the state's economy "continues to steadily improve." But she says the rate could fluctuate up and down as the recovery continues.
You might also be interested in NPR's series from reporter Tamara Keith about unemployment in St. Louis, "The Road Back To Work."