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Illinois unemployment claims reach record lows, signaling a strong labor market

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today the state has reached a new historic low of continued claims for regular state unemployment insurance benefits since the beginning of the series in January 1987. Illinois has remained below the previously recorded low of 70,454 continued claims for ten consecutive weeks. The most recent data reflects claims levels below that threshold to a little more than 65,000 continued claims.

The decrease in continued claims is a reflection of pandemic-related economic recovery and signals a strong Illinois labor market. In particular, job growth in non-durable 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 provides a robust number of training and employment services to job seekers 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.

In 2020, working with IDES and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Governor Pritzker launched 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 Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) provides vital 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. To see the full range of services provided by IDES, and for the latest news concerning the department, visit

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