The unemployment rate in Evanston rose last month to 5.8 percent, from 5.5 percent in April. But it was down sharply from 7.3 percent a year ago.

Data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security released today shows that of the more than 100 cities in the state with over 25,000 residents, 21 had jobless rates lower than Evanston last month — with the lowest rate, 4.9 percent, recorded in Glenview and Glen Ellyn.

Among the other towns with lower rates were Highland Park at 5.1 percent, Wilmette at 5.4 percent and Oak Park at 5.5 percent.

The state’s highest unemployment rate — 12.8 percent — was recorded in East St. Louis.

Across all of Illinois the jobless rate averaged 7.2 percent, unchanged from the previous month and down from 8.8 percent a year earlier.

The metro Chicago rate was 7.2 percent, down from 7.3 percent in April and from 9.0 percent a year earlier.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Reason for the rates

    There are reasons for the Illinois job unemployment rates and it doesn't mean more jobs. It is a mixed number of reasons and I do not pretend to know how they combine to create the current rates.

    • Illinois has lost population over the last 5 years.
    • Illinois has lost more than 15,000 jobs in the last year.
    • About 40,000 people have been removed from the list of people looking for jobs because their unemployment ran out.

    We know that Chicago has been losing population and jobs, despite a sizeable increase in the immigrant population, according to news reports.

    It would be interesting to find out why so many northshore communities are faring so well in their unemployment rates.

    1. My guess-Education

      Employment levels are highly correlated to education.

      If you look at the education attainment levels for adults aged 25 and older in Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe etc. in the North Shore, I think you will find that the percentage of adults with a bachelors degree and graduate degrees are significantly higher than the state & national averages. This could be the reason that unemployment rates are lower in North Shore communities.

      For example, look at the City of Evanston:

      In Evanston, the data for adults age 25 and older shows that 36.7% have not only a 4 year college degree, but also a graduate or professional degree, and 29.1% of adults have "just" a 4 year bachelors degree. These rates are about 2 times the national average.

      The unemployment rates for college graduates and those with advanced degrees is significantly less according to data from the US Department of Labor :



Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *