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.
Updated at 3:23 p.m.with Associated Press correction. Government hiring was not down in April.
Unemployment across Illinois dropped in April for an eighth straight month, but job growth all but stalled.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that statewide unemployment fell to 8.7 percent. That's down a tenth of a percentage point from 8.8 in March. The national jobless rate was 8.1 percent.
Illinois' unemployment rate fell below 9 percent in March in what continues to be a slow, sometimes unsteady recovery from recession.
The state Department of Employment Security said Thursday that unemployment fell to 8.8 percent in March. It was the first time the jobless rate was below 9 percent since February 2009 and the seventh straight decrease. February unemployment in Illinois was 9.1 percent.
Illinois unemployment still remains higher that the nation as a whole. The U.S. rate in March was 8.2 percent.
Missouri added about 4,800 jobs in March as its unemployment rate remained steady.
Figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Economic Development show that Missouri's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in March - the same level as in February. That remained below the national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in March.
Missouri's 7.4 percent jobless rate is the lowest it's been in more than three years - but that's bad news for about 9,000 of the state's 112,000 people receiving unemployment benefits.
State lawmakers last year outlasted a determined filibuster by Republican Senator Jim Lembke to approve an additional 20 weeks in benefits - funded entirely by the federal government - for Missouri residents who had been out of work for 79 weeks, or more than a year and a half.