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.