The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has processed six times more unemployment claims during the period of March 1 through May 9, 2020 than “the equivalent time period of the 2008-2009 great recession,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.
Pritzker said during a news conference that more than 1,076,000 claims have been filed in Illinois between March 1 and May 9, as the coronavirus pandemic swept through the state.
In addition to regular unemployment services, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program opened on Monday in Illinois.
Pritzker said IDES processed more than 50,000 applications under the umbrella of this program, which includes self-employed and independent contractors. Official filing numbers for the PUA program will be reported starting May 21.
The governor also announced that Illinois will partner with Coursera, an online training website, to offer free virtual job training and professional certificate programs through the end of 2020 for unemployed individuals in the state.