Illinois unemployment filings break last week’s record

Unemployment claims once again spiked in Illinois. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor, 178,133 workers filed for unemployment benefits for the week ending March 28, a 56 percent increase over last week’s record 114,114 filings.

The number of filings continues to climb as employers feel the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The federal government has reinforced state unemployment funds in an effort to cover the sudden expense of the massive spike in jobless claims, something Gov. J.B. Pritzker admitted Tuesday that the state would need in order to pay its share.

Nationally, more than 6.6 million Americans filed unemployment claims.

“This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series,” the U.S. Department of Labor said in a news release.

Non-essential businesses in at least 32 states have been forced to shut down as state and city governments have issued stay at home orders to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Hotels, entertainment venues, casinos, hair salons, barber shops and many other businesses are closed in the majority of the country.

California saw the most number of claims filed for the week ending March 28 with 878,727. That’s up 692,394 over the prior week, when 186,333 unemployment claims were filed.

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