CHICAGO (CBS)– The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported 45,387 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of Dec. 27 in Illinois, a 59% decrease from the week before.

For comparison, during the same timeframe last year, 11,779 people filed claims in Illinois. That’s a 285% increase.

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Since early March, CBS 2 has tracked more than 2.6 million total claims in the state.

Illinois’ estimated claims last week were among 787,000 total filed across the country.

There were 110,486 claims filed in Illinois the week of Dec. 20.

There were reported 145,054 new unemployment claims were filed across the state last week, the week of Dec. 13.

Illinois reported 138,359 unemployment claims during the week of Dec. 6.

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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.

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.

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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CBS 2 Chicago Staff