Unemployment in Evanston fell to 8 percent in August, down from 8.3 percent in July, but it was still higher than the 7.8 percent level of a year ago.

The decline here was larger than for the Chicago metro area as a whole, which saw unemployment drop to 10.2 percent in August from 10.3 percent in July. A year ago 9.8 percent of workers in the metro area were without jobs.

Statewide the jobless rate in August remained unchanged from July at 10 percent, up from 9.9 percent a year ago.

Most of the reduction in the jobless rate in Evanston came as people stopped looking for work. Just 41 more people had jobs in August than in July, but the number of people looking for work declined by 145.

Eighteen of the nearly 100 towns in Illinois with more than 25,000 residents had lower jobless numbers than Evanston in August. The lowest rate, 6.1 percent, was in Highland Park. The next lowest rate in the Chicago metro area was 7.2 percent in Wilmette.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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