Illinois residents filed 81,245 new claims for unemployment benefits last week according to dta released by the U.S. Labor Department this morning.

While still an extremely large number by historic standards, the count was the smallest since the surge of COVID-19 related layoffs began.

In Evanston, while downtown streets were still largely deserted this week, there were some indications of preparation for the modest relaxation of the governor’s stay-at-home restrictions scheduled to arrive with the start of the new month tomorrow.

A owners of a handful of shuttered businesses had posted signs in their windows announcing plans to reopen sometime in the next several days.

Nationwide the Labor Department this morning reported 3.84 million new claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, compared to a revised figure of 4.42 million new claims the previous week.

Specific jobless numbers for April in Evanston won’t be released until the end of May. Figures for March, released last week, showed that unemployment here rose from 2.5% in February to 3.9% in March.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Barnes and Noble calling it quits in Evanston

    Sorry to see the many Barnes & Noble employees joining the unemployment lines, with the bookstore closing for good and adding to the empty spaces in downtown Evanston.

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