Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Illinois’ April unemployment rate was 16.4 percent
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Illinois’ April unemployment rate was 16.4 percent

Thursday, May 21, 2020

* Press release

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate jumped +12.2 percentage points to 16.4 percent, while nonfarm payrolls shed -762,200 jobs in April, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact Illinois businesses and households, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The monthly unemployment rate rose to a new record high since current methodologies were enacted in 1976 and the monthly decline in nonfarm payroll jobs also set a record. The March monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report from -34,100 to -60,900 jobs. The March unemployment rate was also revised from the preliminary report, from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent, as a result of a downward revision to the number of people in the labor force in March.

The April payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th. The BLS has published FAQs for the April payroll jobs and the unemployment rate.

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.7 percentage point higher than the record high national unemployment rate reported for April, which was 14.7 percent, up +10.3 percentage points from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was up +12.2 percentage points from a year ago when it was 4.2 percent.

The three-month average Illinois payroll employment estimate was down -278,200 jobs during the February to April three-month period, compared to the January to March three-month period. The largest average declines were found in Leisure and Hospitality (-107,800), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-37,700) and Professional and Business Services (-36,800).

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our economy, as has been the case in states across the nation,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “As we move to safely reopen much of our economy, we are focused on ensuring working families and small business have the resources they need to recover, and we urge the federal government to step up and provide additional relief.”

“As Illinois tackles this unprecedented crisis, Governor Pritzker has taken action to support a swift public health recovery that will in turn enable residents and businesses to make an economic recovery,” said Erin Guthrie, Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “This administration’s focus on workforce development, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and creating new industries will help us start to bring Illinoisans back to work and rebuild our economy.”

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by -822,800 jobs, with losses across all major industries. The industry groups with the biggest jobs decreases were: Leisure and Hospitality (-320,500), Professional and Business Services (-119,800) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-110,000). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were down -13.4 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s -12.9 percent over-the-year decline in April.

The number of unemployed workers increased dramatically from the prior month, a +280.3 percent increase to 1,004,400, a new record high, and was up +270.6 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was down -2.9 percent over-the-month and -5.2 percent over-the-year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.

An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

April year-over year: Mining -1,300 jobs; Construction -28,700, Manufacturing -65,800; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities -110,000; Information -6,600; Financial Activities -8,600; Professional and Business Services -119,800; Educational and Health Services -77,100; Leisure and Hospitality -320,500; Other Services -48,500; Government -35,900.

…Adding… Oof…

…Adding… IDES…

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) today released new statewide data showing the department processed 72,780 new initial claims for regular unemployment benefits during the week ending May 16. The department has now processed 1,226,394 claims for unemployment benefits from March 1 through May 16. This amount is 12 times the number of claims the department processed over the same period last year, when IDES processed just 93,000 claims for regular unemployment benefits.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, launched May 11, processed 74,515 initial claims in its first week. PUA provides 100% federally-funded unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed for specified COVID-19-related reasons and are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program, the extended benefit (EB) program under Illinois law, or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC), including independent contractors and sole-proprietors. Up to 39 weeks’ worth of benefits are potentially available under the program for COVID-19-related unemployment claims.

IDES processed 36,367 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims (PEUC), which provides up to 13 weeks’ worth of 100% federally funded benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits. PEUC is potentially available for weeks beginning on or after March 29, 2020 and continuing through the week ending December 26, 2020.

The Department also announced state extended benefits (EB) are now available to those who exhaust the allotted 26 weeks of regular state unemployment and the additional 13 weeks of federal PEUC benefits. EB provides an additional 13 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and is made available when the state experiences a high unemployment rate. The Illinois unemployment rate currently sits at 16.4%.

*** UPDATE *** Oy…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - @misterjayem - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 12:26 pm:

    If you can help or if you need help, you can locate your local food bank here:

    – MrJM

  2. - Bothanspy - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 12:51 pm:

    I’m curious how many of these claimants are newly unemployed vs 1099 folks who have been unemployed for nearly a couple of months but are now able to file.

  3. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 1:01 pm:

    We need more financial assistance from governments and others, as we emerge from this. The American coronavirus curve appears to be flattening with less cases, and there have been more tests. We are moving toward a safer place where we can reopen more of the economy. But we’re still pretty deep in the pandemic. States’ raw numbers of new cases are fluctuating.

  4. - Earl the Pearl - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 2:10 pm:

    Definitely worse than the 13.9% of February 1983.

  5. - Left Center Right - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    We need to get back to work. The greatest pct of deaths are those over 80 who also have underlying medical problems. Nursing homes have also been the biggest problem. We can still work and protect the vulnerable.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 2:23 pm:

    === We need to get back to work.===

    May 29 will change a great deal for many.

  7. - Molly Maguire - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 2:34 pm:

    States that PUA has “processed” a bunch of claims, but that does not mean PAID. I’ve only seen one report of anyone actually receiving any money.

  8. - Cool Papa Bell - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 2:39 pm:

    === We need to get back to work. ===

    We need to get back to work safely. And still wear masks and still social distance. We need to be prepared for a new normal for many many more months.

  9. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    ===We can still work and protect the vulnerable.===

    I don’t think you get it, we’re all vulnerable.

    The full extent of the long term impacts of this virus isn’t fully understood. Death is just one of the possible negative outcomes, and it’s only one of the negative outcomes that we already know about that will present issues down the road.

    This notion that simply because a risk of mortality is lower means that we should offer that person up as a sacrifice takes a lot of agency away from that person.

    No one should have to die because they went to work.

  10. - Froganon - Thursday, May 21, 20 @ 4:57 pm:

    Nursing homes and meat packing plants stayed open and now they face staffing shortages due to the virus. Getting back to work isn’t enough. Getting back to work safely is what is required. BTW, Georgians got back to work several weeks ago. Their unemployment applications are rising (40% unemployment rate this week). Lots of businesses opened up. Not so many customers came out. It’s the virus not the quarantine that’s causing the economic damage.

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* 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"
* 1,622 new cases, 86 additional deaths
* *** UPDATED x1 *** What in the heck is going on in Rockford?
* COVID-19 roundup
* All metro areas reporting record high unemployment rates
* School seclusion and restraint bill derailed after opposition
* Attorney DeVore asks appellate court to dissolve another TRO
* Question of the day
* Madigan issues new guidance to members, staff
* Architects abandon alternative reopening plan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* House of worship attendance limit expected to be removed from stay at home order
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Sheriffs file suit against state for refusing to accept jail transfers
* Pritzker says IDPH has offered "suggestions" to churches - Says he's received "pushback" from some private nursing homes - IDPH will file new rule on nursing homes - Still looking at what to do about IDPH rule - Dodges question about Willie Wilson - Employers should use "common decency" when bring workers back - Will wait on feds before making any more budget decisions - Central Illinois hospitalization numbers improve - "We might potentially have to move backwards in the phases - "Not our intention" to make changes to Phase 4 guidance - No plans to dine at restaurant this weekend - No decision about ending daily briefing - Repeats that he has never encouraged police enforcement - Suggests GOP demand for IDES audit could be a "political move" - Still pondering school reopening - All testing is free - Asked about dangers of Legionella in large buildings - Testing and tracing metrics are "internal goals" - Points to federal rules on unemployment and workers who refuse to return - "Difficult for us to open theaters in the near future" - Dr. Ezike talks rules for malls - Dr. Ezike monitoring outbreak at county jail with ICE detainees
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