The Illinois Department of Employment Security reports 542 more Evanstonians were in the labor force last month and 64 fewer people were looking for work.

That cut Evanston’s jobless rate from 3.3% in November to 3.1% in December.

That’s less than half the jobless rate of 7.6% in December 2020.

The jobless rate here is now just 0.1% above its pre-pandemic level of March 2020.

There were also employment gains for the Chicago metro region and the State of Illinois as a whole. Both saw the jobless rate decline from 4.5% in November to 4.3% in December — although the state saw a decline in the number of people in the workforce while the number of people in the workforce across the metro area increased.

Skokie’s jobless rate in December was 3.5%, down from 3.7% in November. Wilmette’s rate was 2.4% in December, down from 2.7% in November.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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