CHICAGO (CBS)– The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported 68,383 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of Feb. 15, a nearly 10% increase from the previous week, when 62,369 people filed.

For comparison, during the same timeframe last year, 11,812 people filed claims in Illinois. That’s a 479% increase.

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CBS 2 is tracking over 3.1 million total claims filed since early March.

Illinois’ latest claims make up more than 9% of the estimated 730,000 claims filed across the country last week.

There were 40,008 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of Feb. 1 in Illinois.

There were 95,481 new unemployment claims filed during the week of Jan. 18 in Illinois.

There were 95,472 new unemployment claims filed during the week of Jan. 11 in Illinois.

There were 94,944 new unemployment claims filed during the week of Jan. 4 in Illinois.

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There were 45,387 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of Dec. 27 in Illinois.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

CBS 2 Chicago Staff