The unemployment rate in the Chicago metropolitan area fell to 8.3 percent in November from 9.5 percent a year earlier and dipped from 8.4 percent in October, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.
The area added 33,700 jobs, according to the agency report, which is not seasonally adjusted.
The jobless rate fell year-over-year in all metropolitan areas of the state except the Decatur area, where it rose from 9.8 percent to 10.2 percent.
There were year-over-year job gains in six metropolitan areas and job losses in six.
"The trend of falling unemployment rates across Illinois shows that our economy continues to improve," IDES Director Jay Rowell said in a statement. "The largest challenge to local economic growth is the fiscal cliff. Economic progress could slow at every level and we risk another recession if Congress does not work together to craft a solution."
Rowell was referring to the simultaneous expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and automatic spending cuts set to go into effect next week if a deal isn't reached.
Outside of the Chicago area, the report showed the biggest job gains in Illinois were in the Lake County-Kenosha metropolitan division, up 4,100; and the Springfield area, up 1,300.
The biggest job losses were in the Danville area, down 900; and the Decatur area, down 800.
The highest unemployment rate was reported in the Rockford area at 10.5 percent, down from 11.8 percent.