Illinois' unemployment rate is down two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.9 percent in October after adding the most jobs in September and October than any two-month period since May 2010.
The Illinois Department of Economic Security reported the latest seasonally adjusted numbers Friday, saying 10,300 jobs were added statewide in September and 15,400 more in October.
State unemployment numbers typically are released monthly. But the two reports were combined as a result of the temporary federal government shutdown that delayed collecting the data.
The adjusted unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in September.
The department's director, Jay Rowell, calls Friday's figures "encouraging," adding that they highlight progress although there's still much more to do.
Nationally, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent.