(The Center Square) – As businesses reopen and enhanced unemployment benefits end, Illinoisans are going back to work.
A new study by WalletHub shows that Illinois’s unemployment claims are 18.28% lower than pre-COVID-19 levels.
Illinois has started to see people returning to work with unemployment claims dropping 18.28% from this time in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and has seen a 70.02% decrease since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Jill Gonzalez, of WalletHub, said that a majority of Illinoisans are starting to return to work due to the loss of extra unemployment benefits that were paying citizens an extra $300 a month.
“The expiration of extra unemployment benefits should help reduce unemployment,” she said. “Some people were making more money while unemployed, but that will no longer be the case.”
Gonzalez also said that the most recent week has been most comparable in terms of unemployment claims to unemployments numbers of almost 10 years ago.
“The number of unemployment claims we have had over this last week is most comparable to about early October back in 2013,” Gonzalez said.
Illinois has seen a drastic downturn in unemployment claims.
While Illinois is ranked 42nd in recovery since the start of the pandemic, WalletHub currently ranks the state ninth – and fourth in the midwest – in recovery over the last week.
The only Midwestern states ranked higher than Illinois are Kansas, South Dakota and Missouri.