Evanston’s unemployment rate jumped in May to 7.3 percent — up 0.9 percent from April.

The increase in joblessness here followed the same pattern as in the overall Chicago metro area, where unemployment rose to 9.5 percent in May — up 0.8 percent from April.

The statewide jobless rate was up 0.4 percent to 9 percent and the national rate was unchanged at 8.7 percent.

A year ago in Evanston the jobless rate was 7.7 percent.

In Evanston last month 409 more people were looking for work and 294 fewer people had jobs in a total workforce of more than 42,000.

Sixteen of the nearly 100 towns in Illinois with more than 25,000 residents had lower jobless numbers than Evanston in May. The only towns with rates lower than 6 percent were Bloomington at 5.9 percent, Highland Park at 5.1 percent and Carbondale at 5.0 percent.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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