Illinois' unemployment rate improved slightly in April, dipping to 9.3 percent compared to 9.5 percent in March.
Preliminary data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows that there were 2,000 fewer jobs in April, despite the improved unemployment rate.
IDES spokesman Greg Rivara says that could indicate that fewer people were looking for work in April, possibly because of bad weather. There were 40,300 more jobs in Illinois than there were last April and 216,000 more private-sector jobs than in January 2010.
Even so, Illinois' unemployment rate remains well above the national average of 7.5 percent.
IDES Director Jay Rowell says the April data reflect the unevenness of the state's economic recovery.
He says that's like to continue until consumer and business confidence can be sustained nationally.