The jobless rate in Evanston and across Illinois jumped as 2015 got underway. Evanston’s rate rose to 5.6 percent in January from a revised 4.6 percent in December.

But the January rate was still 1.5 percentage points lower than it had been a year earlier.

Statewide the jobless rate rose from 5.8 percent in December to 6.9 percent in January, but that was down from 8.8 percent a year earlier.

The metro Chicago jobless rate rose from 5.7 percent in December to 6.9 percent in January, down from 8.7 percent a year earlier.

Of the just ovr 100 communities in Illinois with moe than 25,000 residents, 31 had lower unemployment rates than Evanston in January. The lowest jobless rate in the state, 4.2 percent was found in Highland Park. Northbrook’s rate was 4.4 percent and Wilmette’s was 4.6 percent.

At the other end of the scale 13 percent of workers in Harvey were jobless, 12.5 percent in Chicago Heights and 12 percent in East St. Louis.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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