The Illinois unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent in January from 9.7 percent in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Illinois Department of Employment Security. This is the fifth straight month unemployment has dropped in the state. Also, it's the largest month-to-month decline since September 1992, when the economy was recovering from a milder recession.
The Illinois job market bottomed out in January 2010, and it has slowly recovered since, with 122,900 private sector jobs added in the last two years.
The national unemployment rate is 8.3 percent.