CHICAGO (WAND) - If you've lost your job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the state has released a new program to get people back to work.

A prompt on the Get Hired website, says "Are you looking for candidates to fill open positions?," and "Have you lost your job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?"

The site features links titled "Job Seekers Click Here" and "Employers Click Here" directing users to an interactive job search page and a resume search tool for employers via There's also a spot on Illinois Job Link for people to upload their resume.

A report released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security on Thursday said 72,993 state citizens filed for unemployment on the week ending in May 9, bringing the state total to 1.02 million jobless claims since the start of the pandemic. The Illinois unemployment rate has spiked by 20.7%.

"I want to be clear," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday during his daily coronavirus briefing, "the financial stability and success of our residents is key to getting Illinois’ economy back on its feet. Illinois won’t be restored until our workers and families have the opportunities and resources they need to build and fill their lives – and I won’t rest until we see that mission through."

The new Get Hired portal blends IDES and DCEO resources to provide a one-stop-shop for both job seekers and employers—providing information on job opportunities as well as unemployment resources. The page is designed to be user-friendly for job seekers of all levels and backgrounds and allows employers to upload jobs, virtual career fairs and training opportunities.

“Through a partnership between IDES, DCEO and the Governor’s Office, the State’s new Get Hired portal was designed to bring both job seekers and employers into a virtual marketplace so they can connect on job and career opportunities in real time,” said Erin Guthrie, Director of DCEO. “The Get Hired portal works to solve a goal that’s two-fold – helping our job seekers return to work quickly and supporting our businesses in adding talented workers to help drive our economic recovery.”

The state also announced a partnership with Coursera, to provide workers looking for employment additional resources for professional development. 

The partnership will help individuals navigate new career pathways, with a focus on training in the Information Technology field. After completing the online programs, participants will have the opportunity to continue in their studies at a local community college or university, or to connect with employers through their local workforce boards.

“As COVID-19 continues to impact Illinois workers and the job market, it is more important than ever to make employment resources easily available to those seeking work,” said Illinois Department of Employment Security Acting Director Thomas Chan. “Get Hired Illinois will change the way job-seekers and employers connect in the evolving economy.”

On Monday, independent contractors began filing for unemployment.

According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the office processed 1,006,925 initial unemployment claims from March 1 to May 2.

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