The unemployment rate among Evanston residents dropped in April to 7.6 percent from 7.8 percent in March.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported today that the number of people with jobs in the city also grew by 420 to a total of 39,243 people, while the number of people looking for work shrank by by 58 to 3,244.

But the jobless number remained above the 6.6 percent level it was at a year ago.

Statewide, the jobless rate in April dropped sharply to 10.8 percent, down from 11.7 percent in March, but up from 9.4 percent a year earlier.

For the Chicago metro area, the unemployment rate fell to 10.7 percent from 11.3 percent in March, but up from 9.7 percent a year ago.

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

They were Glen Ellyn, Glenview and Northbrook at 7.4 percent, Normal at 7.2 percent, Highland Park at 7.1 percent, Wilmette at 7 percent and Carbondale at 6.8 percent.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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