Illinois Governor Promises Federal Loan Payback, Citing Lower Unemployment

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP)  Illinois’ governor says the state’s jobless rate will help him keep his promise to eliminate debt in the state fund that pays unemployment benefits. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday that he’ll transfer $450 million from the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to pay down the federal loan that was taken when COVID-19 shut down businesses in 2020 and unemployment soared. New jobs and decreasing unemployment has eased pressure on the fund. The debt stands at $1.8 billion and Pritzker promises to eliminate it by year’s end. Though the Governor cites lower unemployment, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that (as of August), Illinois still has the highest jobless rate in the Midwest at 4.5%…and is the 4th highest in the nation behind only Alaska, New York and the District of Columbia.

Associated Press and Tim Vander Tuuk, WXLC News (9-28-22)