Illinois' unemployment rate dipped to 8.7 percent in November as the economy added 16,400 jobs.
Preliminary data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security indicate the largest monthly job gain of the year. There still are 574,600 Illinoisans out of work. The rate does not reflect unemployed people who've quit looking for work.
IDES Director Jay Rowell says November's job growth is encouraging and "reinforces the trend of positive economic momentum."
But he says progress will slow if Congress and the president fail to come to a resolution on the so-called fiscal cliff.
November's seasonally adjusted rate is one-tenth of a percentage point lower than in October and 1.1 percentage points lower than November 2011.
Most job gains last month were in professional and business services and manufacturing.