Everything you need to know about Illinois unemployment
The Illinois Department of Employment Security was ill-prepared to handle record numbers of unemployed workers when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, was slow to distribute federal help, exposed Illinoisans' private information, then lefts thousands on hold awaiting answers. Here's the latest.
Days since Illinois Department of Employment Security offices were open to the public.
Calls awaiting a response from IDES staff, as of June 4.
Illinoisans collecting unemployment benefits, as of May 22
Amount spent through a no-bid contract to fix Illinois’ obsolete unemployment system and establish a call center.
6/8/2021: Illinois was among the nation’s worst for delays in helping gig workers and the self-employed receive pandemic assistance unemployment payments, a federal audit found. Rampant fraud and inadequate reporting was also discovered nationwide.
5/21/2021: While total payrolls were up 300, private sector jobs took a beating in April and lost 4,000 positions. Illinois’ labor market completely stalled as the national economic recovery slowed.
5/7/2021: The Illinois Department of Employment Security had a backlog of 156K calls in February. Now, over a year into the pandemic, its offices remain closed to the public and 43K Illinoisans are awaiting a call from IDES.
5/7/2021: States that have re-opened schools have also increased labor force participation of mothers, evidence suggests.
4/22/2021: Illinois’ unemployment rate remains the highest in the Midwest despite March jobs growth. Unemployment is high across the state compared to the region.
3/18/2021: A year into COVID-19 and 552,000 Illinois workers are still in need of jobs. Despite that, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is asking for as much as $2 billion in new taxes on the small businesses that create most Illinois jobs.
12/17/2020: New unemployment claims are rising in Illinois, hitting 142,745 last week as COVID-19 restrictions continue.