CHICAGO (CBS) — The unemployment rate in Illinois dropped to its lowest monthly level on record in August, the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday.

The August unemployment rate statewide was 4%, down 0.2% from July, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Illinois unemployment rate is still 0.3% higher than then national unemployment rate for August 2019, which amounted to 3.7% and was unchanged compared with July.

The state’s unemployment rate was down 0.2% from a year ago, when it was 4.2%, the IDES said.

Measured by payrolls, the state was down 1,400 jobs in August. But payrolls in Illinois were up 1,300 jobs in July, making the overall payroll employment figures stable, the IDES said.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 65,500 jobs, with the largest gains in educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and trade, transportation, and utilities, the state said.

Payroll employment on the state and national level have been variable since the beginning of the year.

“We are pleased that Illinois’ unemployment rate is at its lowest level ever and will continue to focus on making sure that our economy works for everyone,” Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes said in a news release. “This administration prioritized creating an environment where Illinois could create more good jobs that raise wages for working people in this state. That’s why we raised the minimum wage, balanced the budget, invested heavily in education and passed a bipartisan capital bill that rebuilds our roads and bridges and lays the foundation for long term economic growth – and are attracting good jobs to the state.”

The state noted that someone who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.