Illinois ongoing unemployment claims hit historic low

The number of Illinoisans receiving ongoing unemployment benefit claims has hit an historic low since January 1987, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported recently.

Illinois has remained below the previously recorded low of 70,454 continued claims for 10 consecutive weeks, IDES reported. Continued claims are the ongoing weekly unemployment benefit claims by workers who previously filed an initial claim.

The most recent data reflects claims levels below that threshold to a little more than 65,000 continued claims, IDES said in a news release. The decrease in continued claims is a reflection of COVID-19 pandemic-related economic recovery and signals a strong Illinois labor market, the state jobs agency said. 

That includes job growth in nondurable goods manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, professional and technical services, and business services have exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

In addition to providing unemployment insurance benefits to eligible individuals who have lost work through no fault of their own, IDES said it “provides a robust number of training and employment services to jobseekers and employers to help individuals find the next step in their careers. These services include resume and interview skill building workshops, virtual and in-person job and hiring fairs, and workforce training opportunities.”

Among them is Get Hired Illinois, a one-stop-shop website to help connect job seekers with hiring employers in real time. The site features virtual job fairs, no-cost virtual training, and includes (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine. There are currently more than 162,000 jobs posted on IJL from registered employers.

The IDES also provides employment services to Illinois workers, employers, and job seekers with resources including Job Fairs and, analyzes and disseminates actionable Labor Market Information, and administers the Unemployment Insurance Program. For a full range of services and the latest news concerning the department, visit

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