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What state officials described as a “troubling” loss of 16,700 jobs in December turns out not to have been so bad after all.

In fact, Illinois gained 2,000 jobs in December, according to revised figures released Thursday with the state’s January unemployment report. The state added another 1,700 jobs in January.

“We acknowledge it’s a big revision, but the revisions don’t change the fact that Illinois continues to lag behind many other states and is still playing catch up to jobs numbers from 17 years ago,” said Bob Gough, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

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How the make the sausage of economic statistics is pretty interesting. Counting heads, among the ‘easier’ things, isn’t easy. A longer story.