Ill. unemployment rate jumps to 16.4%

Ill. unemployment rate jumps to 16.4%
Currently, 102,686 Illinoisans have tested positive for COVID-19, including 4,607 deaths. (Source: Illinois Department of Public Health)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS) - Governor JB Pritzker gave an update on Illinois’ response to COVID-19 from his office at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, May 21 at 2:30 p.m.

Illinois cases

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,268 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 87 on Thursday, May 21.

Currently, 102,686 Illinoisans have tested positive for COVID-19, including 4,607 deaths.

At least 672,020 individuals have been tested for the virus in Illinois.

For a list of testing locations, click here. Many require pre-screening before a test can be administered.

Illinois unemployment

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced on Thursday that the unemployment rate jumped to 16.4 percent.

They said the March monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report from -34,100 to -60,900 jobs. The March unemployment rate was also revised from the preliminary report, from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent, as a result of a downward revision to the number of people in the labor force in March.

The April payroll job estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th.

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.7 percentage points higher than the record high national unemployment rate reported for April, which was 14.7 percent, up +10.3 percentage points from the previous month.

The Illinois unemployment rate was up +12.2 percentage points from a year ago when it was 4.2 percent.

The three-month average Illinois payroll employment estimate was down -278,200 jobs during the February to April three-month period, compared to the January to March three-month period.

Compared to 2019, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by -822,800 jobs. The industry groups with the largest job decreases include: leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; and trade, transportation and utilities.

According to IDES, someone who uses up or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

IDES maintains a job search engine to help connect job seekers to employers who are hiring, which recently showed 186,374 posted resumes with 62,412 jobs available.

IDES also released new statewide data on Thursday showing it processed 72,780 new initial claims for regular unemployment benefits during the week ending May 16. The department has now processed 1,226,394 claims for unemployment benefits from March 1 through May 16.

This is 12 times the number of claims the department processed over the same period in 2019.

It processed 36,367 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims, which provides up to 13 weeks’ worth of 100 percent federally funded benefits to people who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits.

PEUC is potentially available for weeks beginning on or after March 29 and continuing through the week ending December 26.

The department also announced state extended benefits are now available to those who use up the alloted 26 weeks of regular state unemployment and the additional 13 weeks of federal PEUC benefits.

Restore Illinois

On Wednesday, the governor announced Illinois can begin to enter Phase 3 of the “Restore Illinois” plan on May 29.

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