As unemployment filings surpassed one million in Illinois during the coronavirus pandemic, the state has rolled out a digital hub to connect job seekers and employers with open positions.
"Have you lost your job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?" the prompt reads at the top of the state's "Get Hired" page. "Are you looking for candidates to fill open positions?"
The site features links titled "Job Seekers Click Here" and "Employers Click Here" directing users to an interactive job search page and a resume search tool for employers via IllinoisJobLink.com. There's also a spot on Illinois Job Link for people to upload their resume.
"I want to be clear," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday during his daily coronavirus briefing, "the financial stability and success of our residents is key to getting Illinois’ economy back on its feet. Illinois won’t be restored until our workers and families have the opportunities and resources they need to build and fill their lives – and I won’t rest until we see that mission through."
Last week Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the hiring of more staffers to help with the thousands of people who have not gotten through to the unemployment office. On Monday, independent contractors began filing for unemployment.
According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the office processed 1,006,925 initial unemployment claims from March 1 to May 2.
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“That’s over 1 million claims in just the first 9 weeks of this crisis,” Pritzker said a week ago during his daily coronavirus press briefing. “Compare that to the first nine weeks of the Great Recession of 2008, when there were 180,000 claims in Illinois.”
Numbers released Thursday showed that more than 2.98 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total to about 36.5 million in two months.