Figures released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security indicate that the number of jobs in Evanston continued to grow last year, though at a slower pace than in the recent past.

The Where Workers Work figures indicate that Evanston has 20 percent more jobs than it did two decades ago, while the metro area’s job count is up just five percent and the average increase for northern Cook County suburbs is just two percent.

Since 2014, when the IDES says the recent surge in Evanston jobs began, Evanston’s total number of jobs has grown from 40,795 to 46,809.

Big increases have been seen during that period in several categories:

  • Health care and social assistance jobs have increased by 855 positions to a total of 10,749, with new positions created at the city’s two hospitals.
  • Accommodations and food services jobs have increased by 478 positions to a total of 3,471, with the opening of the new Hyatt hotel and several new restaurants.
  • Professional, scientific and technical serivces jobs have grown by 362 positions to 2,725 jobs.
  • Administrative and supervisory positions have increased by 177 to a total of 1,175.
  • And retail trade jobs are up by 150 slots to a total of 3,566.

The biggest increase in employment — perhaps 2,000 to 3,000 jobs — appears to be at Northwestern University, although the exact numbers there are unclear because it’s the only “educational services” entity in the city, and the state doesn’t detail numbers for any category in which there is only one provider.

The jobs figures do not include public sector employment, and the IDES cautions that employers are not required to specify the work site location for their employees — so some workers reported as working in a community may actually be working elsewhere.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Not just Northwestern

    Back in the day, IDES provided counts of establishments by city by industry, which would enable us to see how many “educational services” establishments operate here. Possibly that info is still available but I could not find it on their site. Of course IDES must suppress employee counts where one employer has a very large share of employment. Per the Census of 2012, there were 46 nongovernmental “educational services” establishments. That would include the various private elementary/secondary schools, and trade schools, which are probably included in the 2017 preliminary figures.

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