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Illinois unemployment claims surpass 60,000 in three days

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Friday, March 20, 2020  |  Article  |  By Cole Lauterbach | The Center Square

Governor (44) , Unemployment (93)

More than 60,000 Illinoisans applied for unemployment benefits in the past three days, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

“Over the last three days (Monday-Wednesday), IDES has received over 64,000 unemployment benefit claims, as compared to the same three days during the corresponding week last year, when IDES received 6,074 unemployment benefit claims,” IDES spokeswoman Rebecca Cisco said Thursday. 

On Monday night, Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered all restaurants and bars closed to dine-in customers. 

The order was part of an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by new coronavirus pandemic. State health officials have confirmed 288 cases in nearly two dozen counties in Illinois. A Chicago woman in her 60s with an underlying health condition was the first COVID-19-related death in the state. Worldwide, 

230,055 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed and 9,358 have died as of noon Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

More unemployment claims are expected as businesses throughout the state close amid the pandemic. GM, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler announced they had come to an agreement to shut down all plants in North America through the end of the month.

In Illinois, the automotive industry employs more than 200,000 workers in various capacities. The industry contributes nearly $1.7 billion in state tax revenue, according to the Auto Alliance.