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Evanston’s jobless rate fell last month to 5.2 percent — the lowest level for the month this decade. The rate declined from 5.5 percent in February and was down from a revised 6.5 percent a year ago.

The Chicago metro rate was 6.4 percent in March, down from 6.7 percent in February and 8.1 percent a year ago.

For the state as a whole 6.3 percent of workers were unemployed last month, down from 6.5 percent in February and 8.1 percent a year earlier.

Of the just over 100 communities in Illinois with more than 25,000 residents, 32 had lower jobless rates than Evanston last month. Highland Park had the best rate, 3.8 percent, followed by Buffalo Grove at 4.1 percent. Among nearby communities, Wilmette’s jobless rate stood at 4.4 percent, while Skokie’s rate was 5.1 percent.

At the other end of the scale, the jobless rate was 12.1 percent in Harvey, 11.5 percent in Chicago Heights and 10.6 percent in Round Lake Beach.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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