The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's economy expanded by 29,800 new jobs in July. It's the largest number of new jobs created in a single month since October 1999. So far this year, there has been 69,300 jobs created in Illinois, the best start to a year since 1998. Employment Security director Brenda Russell says financial assistance, education and training, and career services is behind the surge in job creation. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 4.7% in July, lower than the national rate of 4.8%.