By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — The state unemployment office says 138,359 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of Dec. 6 in Illinois, according to the weekly report released Thursday.

For comparison, during the same timeframe last year, 15,076 people filed claims in Illinois. That’s an 818% increase. Since early March, CBS 2 has tracked more than 2.4 million total claims in the state.

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Illinois’ claims last week were among 885,000 total filed across the country.

For the week ending Dec.12, the top-ranking layoff industries remained similar to the previous two weeks: elementary/secondary schools, restaurants, residential contractors, temp help and hospitals. The largest increases in initial claims occurred in elementary/secondary schools, hospitals and general government.

Illinois numbers have not been this high since the week April 6, when there were over 141,000 new claims filed.

There were 107,616 new unemployment claims filed in Illinois the week of Nov. 29.

Another 74,131 new unemployment claims were filed across the state the week of Nov. 22.

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There were 46,800 unemployment claims filed in Illinois the week of Nov. 8.

Illinois processed 67,158 unemployment claims the week of Nov. 1.

There were 73,515 unemployment claims filed in Illinois the week of Oct. 26.

IDES has faced ongoing struggles filling claims during the pandemic. CBS 2 spoke with four IDES employees in May. For the first time, these workers offered a glimpse into the challenges IDES employees face daily working to get thousands of new unemployment claims processed, as well as the factors they believe contribute to why so many people have not received their benefits.

CBS 2 has extensively reported about how unemployment has surged in Illinois and neighboring states during the coronavirus pandemic.

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