Illinois unemployment offices have been closed to public access since the stay at home order was put in effect earlier this year. 

But Governor J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday there was another safety reason for keeping the doors locked.

The unemployment rate is up and jobs are down in all 14 of Illinois’ metro areas.

State Department of Employment Security spokesperson Sam Salustro says there's been drastic changes in the over-the-year numbers for July, but not unexpected given the pandemic. He notes that things are improving.


The Illinois Department of Employment Security is announcing 20 more weeks of regular state benefits are now available. 


The Illinois Department of Employment Security is working with law enforcement to track down those responsible for a fraud scheme involving the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

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.

State of Illinois

State officials are blaming a “glitch” in Illinois' new system for processing unemployment benefits for making private information public - but a local lawmaker says she wants answers.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has been busy since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Illinois House Republicans in a press conference Monday said Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration has not done enough to address the tsunami of unemployment insurance claims from recent weeks.

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Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens participated in a 90-minute conference call with President Donald Trump and other federal officials on Wednesday.

During the call, Stephens says Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Dan Kowalski announced the 12-hundred dollar stimulus checks would start arriving in peoples bank accounts on April 15.

Illinois continued to share in the nation’s economic pain wrought by COVID-19 with over 178,421 unemployment claims filed last week.

The State of Illinois is taking additional steps to address the unprecedented volume of unemployment benefit claims the department has fielded as a result of COVID-19. 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has taken several steps to improve the unemployment benefit claims process via the online portal and the call center.

State of Illinois

Illinoisans are still reporting problems trying to access unemployment applications on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website.

Governor J-B Pritzker addressed the issue earlier this week saying improvements are being made after the old system that was not capable of handling the huge volume of applications during the COVID-19 crisis.

Some Illinoisans are reporting having trouble accessing information to learn about unemployment benefit opportunities with so many off work due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

During his daily briefing Monday, Governor JB Pritzker said the state found out the hard way it's previous online system wasn't ready to handle the volume of applications coming in.

Illinois’ September unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down by a tenth of a percent from August, and state officials are calling that a record low.

People with criminal records could soon have better luck getting jobs in health care.

State officials say thousands of Illinoisans will have delayed unemployment checks this week due to computer problems.

Illinois’ economic outlook is improving by one measure. According to two reports on the state's labor force, Illinois added nearly three thousand jobs in September, while unemployment across most regions has fallen or remains low.

While a bachelor's degree isn't the only path to a good job, a new report says Illinois could use some more well-paid, blue-collar jobs.

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

As part of the Illinois Department of Employment Security's modernization effort, Illinois employers will soon be able to use MyTax Illinois to complete all their unemployment insurance tax processes.

Department director Jeff Mays stopped in Carbondale Wednesday to remind employers about the change coming in less than two weeks.

General Electric Lighting has announced plans to close its lamp plant in the central Illinois city of Mattoon next year, unless its workers come up with an acceptable alternative for the facility.

Kevin Schiller had no idea what hit him.

With 21 years on the job, the building engineer for Macy's department stores had been in and out of every nook and cranny of many of the retail giant's Texas stores, including the storage room in the Macy's in Denton, Texas.

One minute, the stocky, 6-foot-2 Schiller was searching there for a floor drain. The next, he was sprawled on the floor, stunned, confused and bleeding slightly.

The unemployment rate for October held steady in Illinois at 5.4 percent, a little above the national average.

A Federal Grant totalling $608,466 has been awarded to the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market to help older workers ease back into the workforce.  WSIU's Kevin Boucher recently spoke to the Grants Coordinator, Tracy Norris about how this money will impact southern Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment rates dropped in all Illinois metro areas in June. It was the 16th straight month of statewide decreases.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment in the state continued to drop in September, falling to 6.6 percent.

Illinois' unemployment rate is down to 7.1%.

With national unemployment at its lowest level since the start of the Great Recession - the numbers keep going the wrong way in several parts of Illinois.

Illinois’ unemployment rate is down for the second month in a row.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says a federal program that provided unemployment insurance beyond the state's initial 25-week coverage will expire December 29th.


Bombardier Recreational Products Friday announced it will exit the sport boat business over the coming months and close its manufacturing facility in Benton.