Evanston unemployment rate in March drops to 2.8 percent, a sign of a strong economy

Alan Perez, Editor in Chief

The job market in Evanston remained strong in March, with the unemployment rate dropping to 2.8 percent from 3.1 percent the month before.

The data, released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, shows figures well below the state unemployment rate of 4.5 percent and the national rate of 3.9 percent. The news is evidence that Evanston is still enjoying a decade-long economic recovery, even as some fear a looming global recession.

Illinois lost 2,800 non-farm jobs last month, adjusting for seasonal variation. The biggest statewide losses came from professional and business services and trade, transportation, and utilities industries.

The job market is typically used as an indicator of the strength of the economy. A lower unemployment rate tends to correlate with a healthier economy.

Still, the headline numbers don’t paint the full picture of the employment situation. It excludes workers who have looked for work for more than four weeks, and those who work part-time but are unable to work more hours.

The state government is facing a $3.2 billion deficit after years of economic hardship. Last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration projected confidence in restoring financial stability.

“This administration has begun the hard work of restoring fiscal sanity to our state so that we can build a thriving economy for all Illinoisans,” Deputy Governor Dan Hynes said in a news release.

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