New figures from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show the unemployment rate declined to 5.6% in Evanston last month from 5.9% the month before.

That’s dramatically better than before pandemic-related job losses really kicked in in April 2020, but still nearly double the pre-pandemic rate in early 2020.

The same general pattern is seen in jobless figures for the Chicago metro area and the entire state.

The number of people in the Evanston labor force grew by 63 people in May to a total of 36,880. Meanwhile, the number of people unemployed and actively looking for work fell by 112 to 2,078.

Skokie’s jobless rate in May was 7.2%, up from a revised 7.1% in April. Wilmette’s rate was 4.1% in May, unchanged from the revised figure for April.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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