CHICAGO - Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) offices will be closed Wednesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. All services will be available on the website. Claimants scheduled to certify for benefits should do so. Regular office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. will resume Thursday, July 5.
Independence Day is celebrated on the Fourth of July. It honors the Declaration of Independence which summarily declared sovereignty from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson drafted the document between June 11 and June 28, 1776. The expressed political philosophy of individual liberty was not new and had been advocated by many. This time, however, Jefferson presented the tenets as self-evident truths. The document presents a list of reasons, or grievances, against Great Britain’s King to explain why such a rebellious act was warranted.
Although IDES offices will be closed, services will be available online at www.ides.illinois.gov. Individuals will be able to file for first-time unemployment benefits, certify for benefits which is necessary to receive payment, and switch that method of payment to direct deposit. Because July 4 is a federal banking holiday, the availability of some benefit payments might be delayed. The IDES does not determine federal banking holidays.
IDES customers also can use the website to manage their benefit payments. For benefit payments, the Department encourages direct deposit. Direct deposit is a simple, smart and secure way to receive benefits. A debit card also is available. There are no fees associated with a debit card at point-of-service counters that accept MasterCard, such as grocery stores, drug stores and convenience stores. Cash is available after qualifying purchases. Fees likely will be assessed with out-of-network ATM machines.
IDES encourages businesses and individuals to use Illinois JobLink. Illinois JobLink, www.illinoisjoblink.com, is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to post job ads at no cost. Employers can create want-ads that require specific skills or search resumes using keywords such as salary, educational attainment and location. Individuals can create multiple resumes using keywords to emphasize skills that target specific jobs in different industries. The cross-matching approach increases success and reduces costs for both parties.
The unemployment rate in May, the latest month available, was 8.6 percent. The rate has fallen for nine consecutive months. Illinois has added 163,300 private-sector jobs since January 2010 when growth returned to Illinois after nearly two years of monthly losses.