Evanston’s unemployment rate rose in May to 7.6 percent, up from 4.8 percent a year ago.
The rate was up sharply from 6.5 percent in April.
But the figures released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that Evanston’s employment picture was still among the best in the state. Of nearly 100 communities with over 25,000 residents included in the data, only 15 had jobless rates lower than Evanston’s last month, though that was up from just 12 in April.
Many of the towns with the lowest unemployment rates — including Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Normal, and Urbana — like Evanston are communities with major universities that are less prone than other employers to shed workers during an economic downturn.
In the metro area, Glenview at 7.2 percent, Highland Park at 5.3 percent, Northbrook at 6.7 percent and Wilmette at 5.8 percent were the only communities with unemployment levels lower than Evanston last month. Those four towns also showed a smaller increase in joblessness than Evanston last month.
Among other metro-area communities, the jobless rate was 8 percent in Oak park, 8.2 percent in Arlington Heights, 8.7 percent in Skokie, 10.5 percent in Des Plaines, 11.4 percent in the City of Chicago and 11 percent in Waukegan.
Evanston’s jobless rate for all of 2008 averaged 4.7 percent.
The state jobless figures are not seasonally adjusted.