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The unemployment rate in Evanston and across the state declined somewhat last month, according to figures released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Evanston’s jobless rate fell from 12.2% in April to 11.1% in May as the economy slowly began to reopen after the COVID-19 driven shutdown. The decrease here was roughly in line with decreases seen in the City of Chicago and across the state.

The size of Evanston’s labor force — the number of people either working or looking for work — grew from 35,552 in April to 36,825 in May, while the number of people out of work declined from 4,345 to 4,099.

However the jobless rate remains more than four times what it was a year ago and the size of the city’s labor force is still down by more than 2,000 people from what it was in March, before the pandemic-triggered job losses took hold.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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