Unemployment Claims Top 200K in Illinois, 24% of Workforce Impacted by COVID-19

According to media articles posted this week, unemployment is hitting record levels in Illinois.

There were 201,041 initial claims filed the first week of April, more than 20 times higher than the same week in 2019, according to Illinois Policy.

According to Illinois Policy, business sectors affected by COVID-19 and mitigation employ 1.5 million part-time and full-time workers, or nearly one-quarter of the workforce in the state.

WBEZ reports that the Illinois Department of Employment Security is fully occupied fielding the large increase in claims for regular unemployment benefits and still does not have the time to implement the federal programs recently passed in the CARES Act benefiting independent contractors and self-proprietors.