PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — According to the United States Department of Labor, there were nearly 115,000 unemployment claims just last week.
This was more than 10 times greater than the week before. Since then, there are now over 3.3 million Americans filing for unemployment.
In the proposed stimulus package awaiting Congress’ approval, Americans who file for unemployment would receive an additional $600 per week on top of their current states’ unemployment benefits.
Bradley University Assistant Professor of Economics Colin Corbett says this increase in unemployment insurance will add more than double benefits currently being received by Illinoisans.
“The important thing is the $600 is made available to many types of employees including gig workers, independent contractors, part-time workers, people who would usually not be eligible for unemployment benefits. That helps a lot of people, especially Uber drivers, performing artists, and other people who usually would not be able to get unemployment benefits, will be eligible for that
Corbett says these unemployment benefits will also help businesses who cannot practice social distancing, like a performing arts company, be able to temporarily lay off employees and hire them back once COVID-19 has passed.
Corbett says in Illinois, those who receive unemployment insurance receive 47% of weekly wages with up to a maximum of $484 per week, with small additional benefits for non-working spouses and dependent children.
“We beefed up unemployment insurance. We now have 3.3 million Americans just in the last week who filed unemployment. We are adding 600 dollars per week on top of the unemployment insurance benefits,” Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois) said.