Illinois Unemployment Rate Rises Above 16%

Amidst the pandemic, the Illinois unemployment rate jumped to 16.4% last month.

April’s rate rose over 12 percentage points from March, as businesses had to close because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Illinois Department of Employment Security spokesperson Sam Salustro says more than 762,000 jobs were lost last month.

"As anyone could guess, the sectors hit hardest were in the leisure and hospitality industries as we've seen a decrease in food and drinking establishments, retail and hospitality retail. We also saw decreases in the professional and business services, trade and transportation."

Governor J-B Pritzker says the new budget needs to increase funding for IDES.

"You can imagine when the economy is getting better every year, people don't pay much attention to the unemployment system because it's small, it doesn't really effect that many people. That's the theory that the General Assembly has gone by for many  years. Now, here we are with all that under-funding effecting IDES."

Anyone still needing to file for unemployment benefits should visit the IDES website.