A screenshot shows the main finding of a state audit of unemployment fraud that occurred amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Credit: Illinois Auditor General's Office)

Included in that sum was $6 million paid to 481 dead people and $40.5 million in unemployment checks written to incarcerated individuals. And, the audit warned, those numbers could be a significant undercount.

(WTTW News)

Mayor Brandon Johnson has instructed the city’s budget office to find ways to fund youth unemployment and enrichment programs — and according to a new study by UIC’s Great Cities Institute, those jobs are critically needed.

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. (AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The Federal Reserve extended its year-long fight against high inflation Wednesday by raising its key interest rate by a quarter-point despite concerns that higher borrowing rates could worsen the turmoil that has gripped the banking system.

File - A hiring sign is displayed at a grocery store in Arlington Heights, Ill., Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. On Thursday, the Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)

Applications for unemployment benefits are seen as a barometer for layoffs in the U.S.

A sign advertises for help The Goldenrod, a popular restaurant and candy shop, Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in York Beach, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Friday’s government report showed that hiring fell from 315,000 in August to the weakest monthly gain since April 2021. The unemployment rate fell from 3.7% to 3.5%, matching a half-century low.

(WTTW News)

When COVID-19 shutdowns left a record number of people suddenly out of work, Illinois saw record applications for unemployment benefits. That increase drained the state fund that pays out those benefits, the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

Illinois has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Federal pandemic unemployment benefits ended on Labor Day, cutting off weekly payments to more than 300,000 people in the state. 

FILE - In this March 27, 2020, file photo, a Walgreens sign is displayed outside the store in Wheeling, Ill. Walgreens will hike starting pay to $15 an hour beginning in October, as employers across the United States continue boosting wages to attract workers. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)

The August job growth the government reported Friday fell far short of the sizable gains of roughly 1 million in each of the previous two months. The hiring jumps in June and July had followed widespread vaccinations that allowed the economy to fully reopen from pandemic restrictions. 

Criminal backgrounds, homelessness and lack of education and opportunity are all factors in preventing black youth between the ages of 16 and 24 from finding employment, according to a report released by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute.

The Chicago Teachers Union is calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Bruce Rauner to prevent as many as 5,000 teachers from being laid off later this year. 

As the economy and employment rates improve, young people may be getting left behind. We’ll learn about a new report on the jobless rate among teens in Chicago.

New numbers touted by the governor’s office show that the Illinois unemployment rate has fallen more than any other state in the last year. But is it all good economic news? Paris Schutz has the story.

Illinois officials are touting one of the largest drops in unemployment in Illinois history. But is the picture really that rosy? Paris Schutz goes behind the numbers. 

There is concern today that the Cook County employee computer system may have been hacked. Read an article.

People who have been out of work for more than six months have a harder time getting hired again. Brandis Friedman has the story of a Chicago-based nonprofit ahead of the curve in helping those workers get back to work, and the support it’s getting from the White House. Read an article.

Read an interview with Darryl Lane, Senior Talent Acquisition Lead at Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, about employment tips, and view a graph of Chicago’s unemployment rate compared with state and national levels.