Illinois unemployment claims double after several weeks of improvement

Illinois unemployment claims double after several weeks of improvement

While the nation gets back to work, Illinois unemployment claims rose again. The past week ranked Illinois 50th out of 51, including Washington, D.C.

Illinois’ initial unemployment claims nearly doubled last week after several weeks of improvement.

The number of requests for unemployment benefits was 67,750 for the week ending Feb. 13, up from 34,259 the week before. There were 279,648 Illinoisans receiving benefits as of Feb. 6, which was down 13,140 from the prior week. Benefits data lags initial claims data by a week.

New claims in the U.S. were up slightly last week to 861,000, a blip up of 13,000 – a fraction of Illinois’ new claims. Those receiving ongoing benefits dropped by 64,000 to 4.49 million nationwide for the week ended Feb. 6.

Illinois saw new claims spike when Tier 3 mitigation mandates were imposed Nov. 20 by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, closing all indoor service at bars and restaurants as cold weather set in and made outdoor service difficult. Those restrictions were eased for most of the state Jan. 23, and have eased more since.

Last week’s rise in new claims came as more employers faced fewer restrictions and as the state’s COVID-19 7-day positivity rate fell to 2.9%.

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