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Illinois Reports 53,000 Jobless Claims; Increase Of 7,800 Is Second Highest In Nation

CHICAGO (CBS)-- The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported 53,138 new unemployment claims were filed across the state last week, the week of Oct. 19.

That's a 13% increase from the week before, when there were 46,948 new unemployment claims were filed across the state the week of Oct. 12, and a 540% increase over the number of claims filed in the same week last year, when Illinois processed 8,307 claims.

While many states saw fewer or flat number of claims, Illinois' number is an increase of 7,871 from last week. Only Michigan had a higher increase (8,763) nationwide. The rise is a result of increased layoffs in the last week in restaurants, education, healthcare, temp help and finance sectors.

Unemployment claims across the nation have skyrocketed during the pandemic. In Illinois, more than 1.9 million new unemployment claims have been filed since early March.

There were 36,267 new unemployment claims in Illinois the week of Sept. 28.

IDES reported 29,390 new unemployment claims in Illinois the week of Sept. 21.

Another 25,976 claims were filed in Illinois the week of Sept. 14.

IDES has faced ongoing struggles filling claims during the pandemic. CBS 2 spoke with four IDES employees in May. For the first time, these workers offered a glimpse into the challenges IDES employees face daily working to get thousands of new unemployment claims processed, as well as the factors they believe contribute to why so many people have not received their benefits.

CBS 2 has extensively reported about how unemployment has surged in Illinois and neighboring states during the coronavirus pandemic.

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