SPRINGFIELD (AP) – More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, with Illinois having 178,421 claims filed.
The 56% jump from the previous record-setting week of 3.3 million signals that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus.
The job cuts are mounting against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad which have almost certainly sunk into a severe recession as businesses close across the world. The surging layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million lost jobs by the end of April.
During the same period a year ago, Illinois received just 9,230 first-time unemployment claims.