CHICAGO (CBS)– The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported 15,595 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of March 15 in Illinois, a 78% decrease from the previous week. 

For comparison, during the same timeframe last year, 126,716 people filed claims in Illinois. That’s an 87.7% decrease.

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There were 684,000 total claims filed across the country last week, the fewest since the start of the pandemic, and a decrease from the previous week when there were 770,000 total filed.

Since early March, there have been more than 2.8 million total claims in the state.

There were 71,175 new unemployment claims filed in Illinois during the week of March 8.

CBS 2 tracked the number of people in Illinois who filed for unemployment every week to capture the economic impact of the crisis. The analysis found more than 3.3 million people have filed for unemployment with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) in the last year alone.

One year ago — the week of March 16, 2020 — was the first time Illinois saw a surge in claims filed during the pandemic. More than 114,000 people filed for unemployment alone, just days after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic.

There were 57,483 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of March 1 in Illinois. 

There were 68,383 new unemployment claims filed during the week of Feb. 15 in Illinois.

IDES reported 62,369 people filed unemployment claims during the week of Feb. 8 in Illinois.

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

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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.

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