Missouri officials say the state lost about 7,300 non-farm payroll jobs in May, even as the state's unemployment rate was unchanged from April at 7.3 percent.
The Department of Economic Development reported the figures Tuesday.
The decline in non-farm payroll jobs followed several months of increases. The 7.3 percent jobless rate is the lowest for Missouri since December 2008, and compares with the national figure of 8.2 percent in May.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment dropped during April in 11 of the state's 12 metro areas.
The department said Thursday the biggest decrease was in the Rockford area where unemployment decreased from 12.1 percent in April 2011 to 10.7 percent. The Kankakee-Bradley area wasn't far behind. The jobless rate there fell from 11.8 percent to 10.5 percent. Only the Metro East had an increase - a small jump from 8.3 to 8.4 percent.
Unemployment in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metro area decreased from 9.5 percent to 9 percent.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (C) is joined by representatives of General Motors and leaders from General Motors' Wentzville Assembly Plant, for the official groundbreaking of a $380 million expansion project on May 21, 2012.
Credit (Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)
A Chevrolet Express van nears completion on the assembly line in Wentzville, Mo. in 2009. Today plans were announced to expand the facility.
General Motors broke ground on Monday for a new $380 million expansion to its Wentzville Assembly Plant.
When GM declared Chapter 11 in 2009 the Wentzville plant was subject to talks of being shut down. Few people envisioned a day like today when the company would be adding 500,000 square feet to Wentzville.
The company says the move will create some 1,000 new jobs, with priority given to workers from the soon-to-be closed plant in Shreveport, La.