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State processing COVID-19-related spike in unemployment claims

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) released numbers on Friday showing how dramatically the COVID-19 pandemic has affected employment in Illinois.

The department processed 102,937 initial unemployment claims for the week ending April 18 and has processed more than 755,000 initial unemployment claims from March 1 through April 18, 12 times the number of claims the department processed over the same period last year.

From March 1 through April 16, the department paid out more than $700 million in benefits.  In the first two weeks of April alone, IDES paid . . .

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