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Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Calculates an Unemployed Worker Makes $35 an Hour

The average Illinoisan earns $55,770 a year. Collecting unemployment, it's only $4,000 less.
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The American Rescue Plan

Why Work?

Illinois’ unemployment rate rose to 7.2% July 15, the 8th worst in the nation. At the same time employers are having trouble filling job vacancies. 

The average Illinoisan earns $55,770 a year at work.  If that person stayed home with their kids and collected unemployment, it would be $51,627.

Crunch the numbers another way and add federal stimulus, and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce calculated an unemployed worker receives $35 an hour.

“In Illinois alone, there are tens of thousands of unfilled jobs. Employers are offering substantially higher wages, employment bonuses and taking other steps to encourage people to return to work,” the chamber wrote in an open letter to Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “The problem is employers cannot compete with the approximate $35 per hour unemployed workers have received over the last four months as a result of enhanced UI benefits, tax credits, and stimulus payments.”

The above snips from the Illinois Policy Institute.

America Rescue Plan Ends in September

On September 6 these American Rescue Plan benefits ends.

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  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance from 50 weeks to up to 73 weeks through September 6 
  • An additional $300 in weekly benefits 

It would be fitting if those gaming the system cannot find any job. 

What Reasons Do the Unemployed Give for Turning Down a Job?

"I have enough money from unemployment insurance" is tied for the highest reason.

Add up all the reasons directly tied to unemployment insurance and at least 36% of the unemployed are gaming the system.  

For discussion, please see What Reasons Do the Unemployed Give for Turning Down a Job?


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