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6.6 million new unemployment claims filed - 178,000 in Illinois

Thursday, Apr 2, 2020


The torrent of Americans filing for unemployment insurance skyrocketed last week as more than 6.6 million new claims were filed, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That brings to 10 million the total Americans who filed over the past two weeks. […]

On an unadjusted basis, the total was 5.8 million, a number that some economists consider more relevant because seasonal adjustments are less relevant due to the unusual impact the coronavirus-induced shutdown has had on the economy.

“Sadly, this probably still underestimates the actual numbers because of the overload in the systems and not every call getting through,” said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. “Even if we’re accurately calculating the numbers, we still likely have worse to come.”

As more states issue stay at home orders this week, that number will undoubtedly continue growing.

…Adding… Tribune

More than 178,000 Illinois residents applied for unemployment insurance benefits last week, as the number of workers who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic continues to swell.

The surge in jobless claims in Illinois — up about 50% from the 114,000 reported for the week ended March 21 — comes as many struggle to file for benefits. With Illinois unemployment offices closed due to the pandemic, the state’s computer systems have been overwhelmed, and many applicants have had trouble getting through.

The state said last week that additional steps were being taken to handle the “unprecedented volume” of applications, with new hardware infrastructure on the website, and increased call center capacity and staff. But newly unemployed residents say they continue to be frustrated by online glitches and trouble getting through by phone.

“I called yesterday all day long,” said Nicole Morsut, of Round Lake, who has been trying to get benefits since March 20, after being furloughed from a retail sales job.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 9:38 am:

    Horrific tragedy with gruesome repercussions far beyond illness. The world is at war with a common enemy, and the sooner people take the most stringent steps possible to turn the tide and win, the better for so many.

  2. - Give Us Barabbas - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    I’m trying to puzzle out what the economic landscape will be like after this is behind us and one thing I think will be very different with all the use of public assistance in unemployment insurance and emergency sustenance for various people and businesses is the public perception of and acceptance of UBI as part of the social safety net. If the November elections bring in a Blue Wave in the White House and Senate, there would be means and motivation to perhaps propose UBI or something like it as part of the national rebuilding effort. The public sentiment could perhaps tip over from “OMG that’s soshulizm!” to: “actually, it kinda seems to make sense - a lot of it is already defacto there, just re-brand it.” Same with universal health care. The health care will probably lead due to the impact of Covid-19.

  3. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 9:57 am:

    March seemed to last forever. April will be twice as long. Stay home and wait it out.

  4. - lakeside - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 10:15 am:

    The states haven’t figured out how to add self employed and gig folks. When they do, the number is going to be insane.

  5. - RNUG - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 10:28 am:

    Not to make light of it, but not all the applications may be by laid off workers. Some may be by employed workers who have had their hours cut back.

    I know restuarant kitchen workers that lost as few as 10 or 15 hours off their normal 35 - 40 where told they could apply for the difference.

  6. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 10:52 am:

    Also not to be light but it’s a smaller percentage than than our proportion of the national population.

  7. - Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 10:53 am:

    Let’s not assume all small businesses will be in a position to reopen or rehire all of their workers when this pandemic is over. Mom and pop businesses are the most at risk. Other smaller businesses have continuing expenses while shut down. It’s ugly now and will remain ugly later. The only question we will need to find out is how ugly in the future will the fallout be economically.

  8. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 11:21 am:

    The federal loan which converts to grants could help keep a lot alive but yes you are right. It will be a different world. I suspect we will see more and there must be more for state and local.

  9. - RNUG - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 11:34 am:

    == Mom and pop businesses are the most at risk. ==

    Good friend is in her second year of owning her own neighborhood bar / pizza place. So far she is doing takeout with a skelton crew. Talked to her last night at the drive-thru when we picked up an order. She says she is hunkered down for the long haul. I know she has a pension from her former employment, so I hope she can make it.

    If you are ordering meals to go, try to support the local places.

  10. - SSL - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    There are going to be many different scenarios that challenge the mom and pop businesses. Many operated on razor thin margins and simply won’t be able to keep it going through this extended slowdown. Some are older workers who may be inclined to throw in the towel. Some are in lines of business that simply aren’t the same the used to be, like all of retail. And then there are the restaurants that have always had a high failure rate. While $2.2T is nothing to sneeze at, it may not be enough to move the needle on an economy that hit a steel wall doing 100mph.

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* Pritzker implores protesters to "not force a difficult second rebuilding on our small businesses in the course of expressing your very justified pain"
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Pritzker thanks Dr. Ezike, extends financial protections, points to progress, says no more daily COVID-19 briefings - Calls Trump tweets "reprehensible" - "I want to send my condolences to the family of George Floyd, and also to every African American in this country" - Defends budget decisions - Credits Illinoisans for progress against virus - No bill signing ceremonies - Hopes testing progress continues - "It seems as if President Trump is withdrawing us from the rest of the world" - No out of state travel plans - Talks contact tracing - Asks Illinoisans to be careful during reopening - Will sign Medicare for undocumented seniors bill - Refuses to criticize Lightfoot for Trump comments - Talks about difficulties in securing testing locations - Dr. Ezike and Pritzker respond to question about what they've learned about themselves and leadership - "We're no longer in a stay at home order"
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