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The number of Evanston unemployed fell slightly in May versus record high levels in April, according to data released June 24 from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
About 4,100 people were unemployed in May, down from 4,345 in April. However, current unemployment figures are four times higher than last year and above the peak reached during the great recession 10 years ago. The number of unemployed persons in Evanston rose steadily through June 2009, remained above 3,000 for more than a year, and peaked at 3,590 in July 2010.
The official unemployment rate for Evanston was 11.1% in May, down modestly from 12.2% in April, but sharply higher than 2.6% in May of last year.
The official unemployment rate, U3, is a narrow measure of unemployment. U3 defines unemployed as people who are willing and able to work and have actively sought employment within the past four weeks.
U6, a broader measure of unemployment which includes discouraged and under-employed workers, is much higher but not reported for individual cities. For the total US, U6 was 21.1% in May or 780 basis points higher than the official rate of 13.3%.