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Jobless rate drops, but workforce shrinks

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Evanston’s jobless rate fell to 3.9 percent in July, down from 4.2 percent in June, but the decline was largely the result of a drop in the number of people in the workforce.

Figures released this noon by the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that the Evanston labor force shrank by 252 people last month. The number of people with jobs declined by 110 to 39,836 while the number of people looking for work also fell, by 142 to 1,556.

Evanston’s jobless rate remains far below its five-year average for July of 6.5 percent.

The jobless rate across the Chicago metro area also fell, from 4.9 to 4.7 percent, compared to 5.8 percent a year ago. The statewide rate fell from 5.0 percent in June to 4.9 percent in July. That compares to 5.9 percent a year ago.

Twenty-three of the 107 Illinois communities with more than 25,000 residents had jobless rates lower than Evanston’s in July. That was down from 26 in June.

The state’s lowest jobless rate last month was 3.2 percent in Wheeling. The rate was 3.3 percent in Wilmette and 3.4 percent in Glenview. It was 4.0 percent in Skokie.

The highest jobless rates in Illinois last month were 20.6 percent in Harvey, 9.7 percent in Dolton and 8.8 percent in Calumet City.

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