The proposed city budget unveiled this week would increase Evanston’s city staff by just over 48 full-time-equivalent positions to a total of of 867.

That’s the highest count of employees for the city since the city workforce peaked at 890 in 2005.

After that, the city workforce declined to 789 by 2013 following the economic recession at the end of the aughts, recovered to just under 830 in 2017 and then fell again to below 800 in 2019 and 2021.

Looking further back, it appears the city’s employee count has generally been above the 800 level for most years going back to the 1970s, although it was as low as 767 in the 1972-73 fiscal year.

Flush with funding from federal pandemic relief grants and a rebound in tax collections as pandemic driven shutdowns have eased, city officials have proposed increasing staff next year in every city department, except police and the library.

But, at Monday’s City Council meeting, Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) said she believes a recession is certain to hit the economy next year.

If that prediction comes true, then, based on what’s happened in the past, the count of city jobs could reverse again in 2024.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. This isn’t the time to increase headcount by 6%. This will only place more budgetary pressure to raise taxes/fees–especially when inflation is at 40 year highs. Does anyone care about the middle class in Evanston any more?

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