Unemployment in Evanston fell to 7.7 percent in September, down from 8 percent in August, but it was still a bit higher than the 7.6 percent level of a year ago.

Most of the decline came as people stopped looking for work. The city’s labor force shrank by 82 people to 42,646. And while 55 more people had jobs in September than in august, 137 fewer people were looking for work.

The drop in the unemployment rate here was smaller than for the Chicago metro area as a whole, which saw unemployment drop to 9.6 percent in September from 10.2 percent in August. A year ago 9.4 percent of workers in the metro area were without jobs.

Statewide the jobless rate in September dropped to 9.5 percent from 10 percent in August. It was at 9.3 percent a year ago.

Twenty-two of the nearly 100 towns in Illinois with more than 25,000 residents had lower jobless numbers than Evanston in August. The lowest rate, 6.4 percent, was in Highland Park. The next lowest rate in the Chicago metro area was 6.7 percent in Wilmette.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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