State unemployment officials say that 87 percent of all the people in Illinois who lost their long-term federal unemployment benefits in December remained out of work a month later.
The Department of Employment Security said Monday that 74,000 people in Illinois lost their benefits when federal long-term unemployment benefits expired. About 64,000 remained out of work a month later.
Department Director Jay Rowell believes the numbers undermine arguments that unemployment benefits discourage people from getting jobs. He would like to see long-term benefits restored.
The U.S. Senate recently voted to restore long-term unemployment benefits. So far no vote has been scheduled in the House.