Evanston’s unemployment rate eased a bit last month, falling from 7.6 percent in June to 7.5 percent in July.

July’s number, reported by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, was down substantially from a year ago, when 8.6 percent of Evanstonians were looking for work.

The rate for the Illinois portion of the Chicago metro area also fell, from 9.4 percent in June to 9.2 percent in July. A year ago it stood at 10.8 percent.

Statewide the jobless rate was 9.3 percentin July, unchanged from the previous month and down from 10.4 percent a year ago.

Thirty-six fewer people were looking for work in Evanston in July, while 112 more people had jobs in a labor force totalling 42,017 workers — up by 76 from June.

Twenty of the nearly 100 towns in Illinois with more than 25,000 residents had lower jobless numbers than Evanston in July.

Tied for the lowest rate at 6.6 percent were Highland Park and Wilmette. Glenview and Northbrook were next with a 6.7 percent jobless rate.

Arlington Heights, at 6.9 percent, was the only other community in the state with a jobless rate below 7 percent.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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