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The jobless rate in Evanston fell sharply in March to 6.0 percent from 6.8 percent in February. The workforce grew and more jobseekers found jobs.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says Evanston’s workforce grew to 41,739 in February, up by 140 people from February. And the number of people without jobs declined by 331 to 2,495.

The jobless rate across the Chicago metro area also dropped, from a revised 9.0 percent in February to 8.1 percent in March. The rate for all of Illinois was also down sharply — from 9.4 percent to 8.1 percent.

Of the roughly 100 communities in Illinois with more than 25,000 residents, 15 had jobless rates lower than Evanston in March — led by Glenview at 5.1 percent, Northbrook at 5.2 percent and Glen Ellyn at 5.4 percent.

The rate in Wilmette was 5.5 percent, while it was 6.5 percent in Skokie.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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