New jobless claims filed in Illinois last week totalled 72,816, according to a report out this morning from the U.S. Department of Labor. That’s up marginally from an adjusted total of 72,671 recorded the previous week as the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact the state’s economy.

However, the total number of people collecting unemployment benefits in Illinois declined from nearly 756,000 in the week ending May 2 to about 733,000 in the week ending May 9, indicating that some workers may have been recalled to their jobs.

Jobless figures for April with detail for Evanston aren’t scheduled to be released until the end of this month. For March Evanston’s jobless rate was 3.9% up from 2.5% in February.

Nationally the jobless rate stood at 17.2% for the week ending May 9, up from 15.5% the previous week, and more than 2.4 million people filed initial claims for unemployment benefits during the week ending May 16. That’s down from nearly 2.7 million the previous week.

It now appears the Chicago region will meet criteria needed to move into the next phase of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan at the end of this month which should lead to the reopening of more businesses shuttered in efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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