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Evanston’s jobless rate fell last month to 6.9 percent, from 7.7 percent in February.

But the number was still higher than that for March in either of the two previous years.

Figures released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that the drop in the rate came mainly from people leaving the workforce. The number of people looking for work declined by 356, but the number of people in the workforce declined by 436.

The jobless rate for the Chicago metro area also declined, falling from 10.3 percent in February to 9.5 percent in March.

The statewide rate fell even more, from 10.4 percent in February to 9.4 percent in March.

Fourteen of the nearly 100 towns in Illinois with more than 25,000 residents had lower unemployment rates than Evanston in March. That number was up from 12 in February.

Wilmette had the lowest jobless rate, 5.8 percent. Glenview was at 6.0 percent, and Northbrook at 6.4 percent and Oak Park was at 6.6 percent.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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