Evanston’s jobless rate declined to 8.1 percent last month from 8.4 percent in June — but the city’s total workforce still shrank.

The June rate was the highest in more than three years.

The number of people in the Evanston workforce — those with jobs or actively looking for work — fell by 77, while the number of people without jobs fell by 127. A year ago Evanston’s jobless rate stood at 7.6 percent.

Statewide the unemployment rate fell from 9.8 to 9.6 percent in July, while the national unemployment rate fell from 7.8 to 7.7 percent.

In the tri-state Chicago metro area the jobless rate fell from 10.1 to 9.6 percent.

Among the nearly 100 Illinois communities with a population of 25,000 or more, Highland Park had the lowest unemployment rate in July at 6.3 percent. Wilmette was at 6.7 percent and Glenview and Mt. Prospect were tied at 7.1 percent. In all, 30 towns on the list had a lower jobless rate than Evanston in July.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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