OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 17: A job seeker looks at job listings posted at the East Bay Works One-Stop Career Center April 17, 2009 in Oakland, California. The California state unemployment rate surged to 11.2 percent in March, the highest level since 1941 when unemployment was 11.7 percent. An estimated 2.1 million Californians are out of work. . (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
State officials say the unemployment rate in Illinois declined again in December to 9.3 percent -- its lowest level since March 2009.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Friday that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point last month from its November level, marking its ninth consecutive month of decline.
The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, declined in December by four-tenths of a percentage point to 9.4 percent.
IDES Director Maureen O'Donnell said December was the second straight month in which Illinois had a lower unemployment rate that the nation as a whole.
O'Donnell also says preliminary data indicates that Illinois will have ended 2010 with a growing economy, something which has not happened since 2007.