The Chicago Employment Law Blog

Unemployment in Chicago

The trends and rates of unemployment in Chicago are constantly changing, but employees still have legal rights when it comes to losing a job. Whether you’ve been fired from a position, subjected to a layoff, or simply resigned, there could be forms of legal action to take or benefits to apply for.

If you need advice on an employment law issue, including on unemployment benefits, you should speak with a Chicago employment lawyer.


Recently in Unemployment Category

Reprieve for Local Hostess Workers? Judge Orders Mediation

Just when you thought they were out, the judge pulled them back in! Late last week, Hostess Brands, Inc. declared its intention to shutter its factories and sell off its assets after negotiations with the union failed and a strike "crippled" the company. The announcement set off a panic for Twinkie-lovers and heartache for hundreds of local workers, who were set to be laid off from their jobs with the struggling snack maker.

Two days after the doors to the factory were closed, and every retailer in America sold out of Twinkies, HoHos, and Ding Dongs, hope emerged in the form of ordered mediation, reports Reuters. Judge Robert Drain, who is overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings, questioned why the mediation had not yet occurred and asked the parties whether it might help.

End of the Line for Hostess Means Holiday Layoffs for Local Workers

Lost in the din of mourning over Twinkies, HoHos, and Ding Dongs is the news that the end of Hostess means the end of 18,500 jobs. In Schiller Park, Hostess employs 300 workers. In Hodgkins, another 325 workers will lose their jobs. There's also a plant in Peoria that will face closure.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Schiller Park and Hodgkins plants ran their last production runs this morning. The two plants are now closed, less than a week before Thanksgiving.

Need a Job? Seasonal Hiring Starts NOW!

Happy Holiday hiring season! Seasonal hiring is expected to increase once again over last year’s numbers, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The National Retail Federation projects approximately 626,000 seasonal positions will be added this year. For a little perspective, in 2008, only 263,800 seasonal workers were added.

According to the Sun-Times, Toys R Us will be adding 45,000 jobs nationally, Kohl’s will be adding an average of 41 employees per store, and Macy’s plans on adding 80,000 positions, including 3,500 in Chicago. Target plans on adding 80,000 to 90,000.

Told You So? Rahm Emanuel Plans to Close Surplus Schools?

You've heard the cliché: "I hate to say I told you so, but ..." That's crap. Everyone loves to say "I told you so." It's fun being right. It's even more fun rubbing everyone's nose in it. With that said, we won't say we told you so, both here and here.

When the Chicago Public Schools agreed to give a universal two percent raise before the teachers' strike, we asked, "where is this coming from?" The school district, city, and especially the state, all are running massive deficits. There is no money. When the Chicago Teachers Union was declared victorious in the strike last month, we again asked, "where is the money coming from?" The agreement called for hundreds of new teachers, longer school days, and pay raised for some of the highest paid teachers in the nation.

DePaul University Off the Hook, Bitter Law Grads Still Unemployed

If one were to glance at the U.S. News and World Report's Annual Law School Rankings for the past few years, they would think that law graduates are having no trouble finding jobs whatsoever, especially if they went to a decent school.

DePaul University, in Chicago, is the 83rd best law school in the country. Most of the higher-ranked schools in the country are reporting over 90% employment. DePaul, despite its lower ranking and the pending lawsuit, is currently reporting 76% employment. Previously, the school reported between 88 and 98% employment, reports Reuters.

The Strike's Over. Are Layoffs, School Closings Next?

So what's next? The Chicago Teachers' Union and Chicago Public Schools finally came to an agreement this week. Classes resumed today. The CTU got three consecutive years of raises, more than 400 new teachers added to the payroll, and a guarantee that many of the new teachers will be hired from the ranks of those recently laid-off. Now they'll only have to worry about mass school closures and unemployment.

According to Reuters, the new CTU contract will add $75 million to the district's existing $665 million deficit for this year. Subsequent years will likely be even worse. Prior to the strike, next year's deficit was estimated to top $1 billion.

We've asked this question before, yet it remains unanswered: Where will the money come from? The State of Illinois will be of no help. They have their own astronomical deficit slowly suffocating state-sponsored social programs.

Federal Law Will Kill Roll-your-own Cigarette Stores, Jobs

The war on smoking and cigarettes continues. Last month, Illinois increased taxes on roll-your-own machine cigarettes, which forced some business owners to move over the Wisconsin border. Now, President Barack Obama is expected to sign a bill that will increase taxes at the federal level, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Goodbye, small business.

For those of you unfamiliar with the "roll-your-own" concept, the machines essentially take tobacco and make cigarettes with the push of a button. These are not the hand-rolled cigarettes of our forefathers; they look just like the ones manufactured by Big Tobacco.

Filing for Unemployment Insurance Benefits in Illinois

Downsizing happens to the best of us. After the shock of losing your job wears off, your first thought is probably, "How am I going to support my family?"

Fortunately, Illinois makes the application process for unemployment benefits relatively painless, unless your application is denied. (If you are denied, you have to fight your way though the appeals process, which is far more painful than the original application.)

Don't Worry, Things WILL Get Worse; FindLaw's Guide to Job Loss

Maybe you've been working there for a week. Maybe you've been working there for a decade. Well, it doesn't matter now. You just got fired.

There's a number of platitudes we could throw at you. The night is always darkest before the dawn. Don't worry, things will get worse. Or you could just listen to Kanye West's "Stronger," which is an entire song centered around a platitude.

FindLaw Poll: People Pad Resumes, It Hurts

Here at FindLaw, we’re not just excellent explicators of existing law. We don’t just react to news stories. We also do original research.

One of our recent polls by FindLaw.com asked readers whether or not they “padded” their resumes.

Padding, in this case, means more than adding a series of adjectives to your job description. It would probably be more like what the Yahoo! CEO did before he was canned.