Illinois Department of Employment Security

IDES

Illinois unemployment in May was up -- way up -- compared with last year due to COVID-19. But the state reopening is bringing jobs back. 

Non-seasonally adjusted unemployment statewide was 14.7% in May. That’s up more than 11 percentage points from last year. The Rockford area saw the biggest jump, rising from almost five to more than 19%. Sam Salustro is with the Illinois Department of Employment Security. He said Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan is bringing these numbers down.

IDES

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says it’s processing unprecedented levels of unemployment claims.  

Since March 1st, the department has processed more than a million unemployment claims. That’s 10 times more claims than were processed last year. Spokesman Sam Salustro said a key focus has been upgrading state systems to process the filings.

Illinois.gov

Business shutdowns have led to mass unemployment across the nation. The jobless are filing for benefits in unprecedented numbers, including Illinoisans.  

Before the pandemic, about 200,000 people applied for unemployment insurance across the country in an average week. That all changed with mass furloughs and layoffs. Carl Campbell is Professor of Economics at Northern Illinois University. He says filings  increased greatly in the first three weeks since stay-at-home orders went into effect.

“It’s been 17 million, so about 30 times what it normally is,” he said. 

Governors from nearly every Midwestern state are collaborating on when and how to reopen the regional economy once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Meanwhile, Illinois saw its highest one-day death toll, and new jobless claims continue to flood the state system responsible for handling them.

Illinois House Republicans in a press conference Monday said Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration has not done enough to address the tsunami of unemployment insurance claims from recent weeks.

IDES

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate fell below six percent in February.

  

The drop to 5.4 percent leaves Illinois' jobless rate at its lowest since late 2007. Preliminary numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released by the department Thursday indicate 25,600 non-farm jobs were added to Illinois' economy last month.

January job growth was revised to show an increase of 8,100 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of 1,700 jobs.

Illinois is the nation's worst in reclaiming hundreds of millions of dollars in overpaid unemployment benefits, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal statistics.

The state overpaid a lot of unemployment money during the past four years: $714-million. And it only recovered 37% of that money. That’s the worst record in the nation. The national average is 66 percent.

Unemployment overpayments are benefits collected by people who aren’t eligible for them, whether done intentionally or as a result of not understanding the rules once they return to work.

IDES

The unemployment rate in the Rockford area jumped last month compared to the same time the year before.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security says December unemployment in Winnebago and Boone counties stood at 7.2 %, up from 6.9 % in December 2014.  Across Illinois, only the Decatur area had a higher jobless rate.  Rockford also suffered a net loss of 300 jobs from the previous year.

Illinois Department of Employment Security / AP/WNIJ News

Unemployment dropped in most of Illinois' metro areas in November but most areas also lost jobs over the past year.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Wednesday in its monthly metro-area report that the jobless rate dropped in 12 metro areas last month, stayed the same in one and dropped in one.

The lowest rate was 5.2 percent in Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights. The highest was 7.7 percent in Danville.

Mixed Jobs News In Illinois

Sep 20, 2013

Illinois' jobless rate is still well above the national average. The state's rate for August was 9.2 percent. But there were some positive signs within the numbers.