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Study examines job recoveries in states during pandemic restrictions

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Friday, June 26, 2020  |  Article  |  By Kevin Bessler | The Center Square

Economy (34) , Unemployment (93)

(The Center Square) – Since the beginning of March, about 1.4 million Illinoisans have filed for unemployment benefits because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Illinois economy slowly opens up, people are returning to work. As of June 13, more than 705,000 workers remained unemployed.

Last week, there were 1.5 million new unemployment claims nationwide, compared to 6.9 million during the peak of the pandemic.

A study by the website WalletHub, using three metrics, attempts to identify which states' work forces experienced the quickest recovery in unemployment claims since last week and since the pandemic began.

Illinois ranked 22nd in the country in the quickest job recovery since last week, and ninth since the pandemic began.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez said the study also compares job losses from the current pandemic and the Great Recession.

“During the Great Recession, we lost around 8.8 million jobs, but during COVID-19 we lost over 47 million jobs,” Gonzalez said of national claims. “The jobs that were created since the recession were all wiped out in the first month of the pandemic.”

Unemployment claims have risen 1,079 percent in Illinois since March compared to last year.

The top three states whose unemployment claims are recovering the quickest since the pandemic began are Connecticut, Oregon and Vermont. The slowest are Georgia, New Hampshire and Florida.