Illinois sees 'significant' increase in unemployment claims in March

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(KWQC) - The state of Illinois is responding to a surge of unemployment claims in March due to the impacts of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

That’s according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

As of Thursday, March unemployment claims total 133,763, compared to 27,493 over the same period in 2019, the IDES said.

“This administration remains dedicated to providing relief to small businesses and families during this challenging period for the state economy,” Deputy Governor Dan Hynes said. “As the state navigates this economic uncertainty, the governor will use every tool at the state’s disposal to help small businesses and families get the help they need.”

IDES also said the unemployment rate dropped to a new historical low in February.

“From day one, Governor Pritzker has prioritized the needs of the state’s workforce which has resulted in a strong economic foundation,” said Erin Guthrie, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “The policies and plans he has enacted and continues to support will help us through this challenging period and make way for further economic stability.”