According to seasonally adjusted data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the state's unemployment rate dropped for the fourth month in a row, reaching 8.6 percent in December.
The rate is the lowest since December 2012, which was also 8.6 percent. Prior to that, the state hadn't reached a rate of 8.6 or below since February 2009.
December saw a drop in the total number of unemployed individuals of 2,000, bringing that number to 565,300.
The rate identifies those who are out of work and actively seeking employment, regardless of whether people are still eligible for benefits.
Nationally, the unemployment rate for December was 6.7 percent.
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