The unemployment rate in Evanston continued to decline in September, falling to 5.1 percent from 5.3 percent the previous month.

It’s now been below the 6 percent level for six months and is at its lowest rate in well over three years.

Figures from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that of the just over 100 communities in Illinois with more than 25,000 residents, 27 had jobless rates lower than Evanston last month. That’s down from 31 with better rates in August.

The lowest rate in the state — 4.3 percent — was found in Glenview and Elmhurst. Northbrook and Palatine were at 4.4 percent and five towns — Arlington Heights, Downers Grove, Melrose, Wheeling and Wilmette — were at 4.5 percent.

The worst jobless rates in the state last month were East St. Louis at 12.4 percent, Harvey at 10.8 percent and Dolton and Kankakee, both at 10.1 percent.

The statewide jobless rate was 6.2 percent in September, down from 6.7 percent in August and 8.6 percent a year ago. The Chicago metro rate was 6.1 percent, down from 6.3 percent in August and 8.4 percent a year ago.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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    1. And yet there are hardly any

      And yet there are hardly any jobs being created. How can this be? Are the unemployed leaving the state or have they reached their maximum weeks on the unemployment roles?

      The unemployment rate the government releases is those receiving unemployment benefits divided by those working all jobs (part-time, full-time, military). When you use the U-6 rate, those no longer receiving benefits but still looking for work, the unemployment rate more than doubles.

      When Obama took office the U-6 rate was 14.25, rose to 17.25 after a year, and is currently at 12.60.

      You can smile. The real unemployment rate is down 1.65 from almost 6 years ago. I guess Obama deserves all the credit because the oil industry and fast food business have led the drop in unemployment..

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