IDES offices remain closed while rest of the state reopens
From Illinois Policy Institute
The Illinois Department of Employment Security was ill-prepared to handle record numbers of unemployed workers when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, was slow to distribute federal help, exposed Illinoisans’ private information, then lefts thousands on hold awaiting answers. Here’s the latest:
Days since Illinois Department of Employment Security offices were open to the public.
Calls awaiting a response from IDES staff, as of June 4.
Illinoisans collecting unemployment benefits, as of May 22
Amount spent through a no-bid contract to fix Illinois’ obsolete unemployment system and establish a call center.
6/8/2021: Illinois was among the nation’s worst for delays in helping gig workers and the self-employed receive pandemic assistance unemployment payments, a federal audit found. Rampant fraud and inadequate reporting was also discovered nationwide.
5/21/2021: While total payrolls were up 300, private sector jobs took a beating in April and lost 4,000 positions. Illinois’ labor market completely stalled as the national economic recovery slowed.
5/7/2021: The Illinois Department of Employment Security had a backlog of 156K calls in February. Now, over a year into the pandemic, its offices remain closed to the public and 43K Illinoisans are awaiting a call from IDES.
5/7/2021: States that have re-opened schools have also increased labor force participation of mothers, evidence suggests.
4/22/2021: Illinois’ unemployment rate remains the highest in the Midwest despite March jobs growth. Unemployment is high across the state compared to the region.
3/18/2021: A year into COVID-19 and 552,000 Illinois workers are still in need of jobs. Despite that, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is asking for as much as $2 billion in new taxes on the small businesses that create most Illinois jobs.
12/17/2020: New unemployment claims are rising in Illinois, hitting 142,745 last week as COVID-19 restrictions continue.
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