Federal unemployment benefits end Monday for millions of Americans

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Nearly 500,000 Illinois residents are among the seven million Americans who will lose pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits Monday.

Some economists predicted this might spur recovery in the lagging job market. But recent research, from Harvard and three other universities, paints a different picture.

In the 19 states which ended benefits in June, only one of eight people who lost benefits was able to find a job.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce says business owners are still holding out hope. The latest jobs report showed underwhelming results.

The economy added just 235,000 jobs in August, that’s significantly lower than the big rebounds from June and July.

But the August employment rate was the lowest since before the pandemic.

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