Evanston’s jobless rate remained unchanged last month as layoffs and business closures triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic continued to weigh on the local economy.

Figures released this noon by the Illinois Department of Employment security show the jobless rate here was 10.2% in both July and August, more than triple what it had been a year ago.

The jobless picture improved slightly in both the Chicago metro area and in Illinois as a whole last month. It fell from 12.1% to 11.7% in Chicago and from 11.5% to 10.9% across the state.

The number of jobs in Evanston declined by 751 to 36,722 in August and the number of people actively seeking work declined by 96 to 3,730.

Skokie’s jobless rate was 13.9% in August, down from 14.3% in July. Wilmette’s jobless rate was 8.0% in August down from 8.2% in July.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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