Illinois added 3,800 jobs in January, and the state unemployment rate fell for the fifth straight month to 9.4 percent.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the 0.3 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate was the largest decline since September 1992.
The agency says the number of unemployed people dropped by 18,100 in January to 620,300.
Illinois has added 122,900 private sector jobs since January 2010, the first month that numbers increased after 23 consecutive months of declines. The state unemployment rate peaked that month at 11.4 percent.
Missouri's unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent while the state's overall payroll increased by thousands of jobs.
The state Department of Economic Development reported Tuesday that Missouri's net nonfarm payroll increased by 21,100 jobs in January. Officials reported that Missouri had a net of loss of 11,800 jobs in December and a loss of 3,300 jobs in November.
Besides expanding payrolls for the first time in three months, Missouri's unemployment rate in January dropped by half a point to 7.5 percent. That is Missouri's lowest jobless rate since November 2008.
Jason Hall (at podium) with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. Hall was Nixon's nominee to be the next director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development in late Dec. 2011. Hall has since resigned following the expiration of the deadline to confirm him.
Credit (via Gov. Nixon's office / video screen capture)