New figures from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show unemployment dropped in Evanston by a full percentage point last month.

The figures for March, released today, show the jobless rate at 5.8% here — down from 6.8% in February. That’s the lowest level since pandemic-related job losses really kicked in in April 2020, but still nearly double the pre-pandemic rate of a year ago.

The same general pattern is seen in jobless figures for the Chicago metro area and the entire state, but the Evanston jobless rate is now more than a full percentage point lower than the state’s figure.

The size of Evanston’s labor force grew by 138 people in March to a total of 36,469. Meanwhile the number of people actively looking for work declined by 356. That indicates that much of the reduction in the jobless figure was a result of people giving up on their search for work.

Skokie’s jobless rate in March was 6.5%, down from a revised 7.3% in February. Wilmette’s rate was 4.3% in March, down from 5.3% in February.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.