The unemployment rate among Evanston residents edged down in March to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent in February.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported today that the number of people with jobs in the city also grew by 276 to a total of 38,827 people, while the number of people looking for work shrank by by 31 to 3,296.

But the jobless number remained well above the 6.2 percent level it was at a year ago.

Statewide the jobless rate in March was 11.7 percent, down from 12 percent in February and up from 9.6 percent a year earlier.

For the Chicago metro area, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 11.2 percent, up from 9.4 percent a year ago.

Of the nearly 100 communities in Illinois with more than 25,000 residents, ten reported jobless rates in February lower than Evanston.

They were Elmhurst, Normal and Oak Park at 7.7 percent, Wheaton at 7.6 percent, Highland Park at 7.4 percent, Glen Ellyn and Northbrook at 7.2 percent, Carbondale at 7 percent and Wilmette at 6.7 percent.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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