​​​​​​​​IDES Employer Newsletter​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Message from the Director of IDES

Our Collective Challenge

Whether it's connecting employers to job-seekers, helping unemployed individuals find meaningful work, providing unemployment insurance to those who are eligible, producing labor market data or protecting taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud - IDES impacts thousands of people each day and helps them through their challenging times. With this in mind, IDES' top goals are to:

  • Revamp Unemployment Insurance (UI) internet and phone customer services and work towards streamlining the overall claims system;
  • Improve the quality of internal processes to increase user-ability while reducing costs to tax-payers;
  • Implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to establish a unified planning process across core workforce programs and to better align and leverage various agencies’ federal funding streams;
  • Solidify the agency’s position as the go-to resource for wage, employer and workforce participation information based on customer-driven geographies;
  • Expand the agency’s automated integrity system to further reduce waste, fraud and UI abuse.

With the largest employment exchange platform in the state, IDES will continue to provide employment services, career education to help build a stronger workforce and will help do a lot of good for a lot of people.

About Jeff Mays

Mays has years of experience working in state and federal government and is an advocate of education and workforce development in Illinois. He is a former Illinois state legislator who represented West-Central Illinois (R-96th District; 1981-1990)

Mays led the Illinois Business Roundtable (IBRT) for the past 16 years. The major policy focus of the IBRT has been education improvement and workforce development.

He served as Co-Chair of the Legislative Audit Commission; Minority Spokesman on the House Appropriations Committee and on the House Labor and Commerce, Executive and Financial Institutions Committees, and the Select Committee on Veterans' Affairs. He also served as Special Assistant to the Chicago Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in History and lives in Quincy. Prior to his appointment as Director of IDES, he served as the Vice President on the Quincy Public School Board.

Jay Rowell, DirectorJeff Mays, Director  
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If You Are Looking for a Job or Need a Qualified Employee, IDES is Your One-Stop Shop

Relief from Penalties and Interest?IDES has the largest employment exchange in the state. Illinois Joblink connects individuals looking for work to employers and companies looking to hire. Unlike most online job posting sites, creating an account is free, easy and quick. The tool features Resume Builder and Resunate. Resume Builder helps individuals create effective resumes which are immediately matched to existing job postings by employers seeking those skills. Resunate is a tool that helps optimize resumes, provides candidates with job postings that interest them and links information by skillset that employers are looking for, and job seekers may possess. Resunate is free if the job seeker connects directly from, regardless of employment status or eligibility for unemployment insurance. Log on to for more information.

For a brief explanation on, please click on video links below:

Illinois JobLink video
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Relief for Eligible Employers from Penalties and Interest in Wage Reporting

To fight theft in and abuse of benefit programs such as Medicaid and unemployment insurance, Illinois lawmakers required certain employers to submit wage reports on a monthly basis. Previously, all employers were required to report wage information quarterly. Electronic and monthly wage reporting have the potential to stop improper payments before they are issued and save Illinois taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. These savings help reduce unemployment insurance tax rates.

The Department adopted rulemaking, agreed to by the business and labor communities, which required the electronic submission of monthly wage reports from employers of 25 or more in 2013 and phased in the Medicaid reform legislation’s monthly reporting requirement through July 2014.

Though the Department had informed employers through direct mail, email, media reports and through trade groups of this rule change, some employers genuinely misunderstood the implementation schedule for the new electronic reporting requirement and assumed it was the same as the schedule for monthly reporting. Additionally, some employers experienced problems transitioning to monthly reporting, despite their good faith efforts, and many incurred penalties and associated interest charges as a result.

To address this issue, the Department has implemented new rules to help employers with wage report submissions:

  • Remove penalties and interest employers incurred as a result of confusion over the new electronic reporting requirement's implementation schedule. The rule retroactively implements requirement on the same schedule as that for the monthly reporting requirement.
  • Waive up to the first two quarters' worth of penalties, along with any related interest, for late monthly reports, as long as the employer timely submitted quarterly reports.

The Department will automatically remove penalties and interest to the extent the new rules permit. The Department's IT division is expected to implement the automated system within the next six months. In the interim, some employers will continue to see the penalties and interest on their quarterly Statements of Account. Once the system change is complete, the Department will notify Employers of any penalties and interest that were waived or otherwise removed. If the employer already paid the penalties and interest, the payment can be credited towards future liabilities. If an employer has requested a waiver of a penalty but the new rules do not permit automatic removal of that penalty, the Department will process the waiver request to determine if there is some other basis for a waiver. The employer will have the right to appeal any unfavorable decision.

If an employer has requested waiver of a penalty but the new rules do not appear to permit automatic removal of the penalty, the Department will process the waiver request individually, to see if there may be some other basis for waiver. The employer will have the right to appeal any unfavorable decision.

To expedite the removal of the penalties and interest, employers should use TaxNet. We appreciate your patience and your help in fighting unemployment insurance benefit fraud. For further information please call the Employer Hotline at (800) 247-4984.


Increasing System Integrity

IDES is expanding its automated integrity system to further reduce waste, fraud and UI abuse. Implementation of a series of technology upgrades since 2010 have identified, prevented or recovered more than half a billion dollars ($586 million) in fraudulent benefit payments. This effort will include a monthly wage-records cross-match to ensure that those who have returned to work do not continue to receive benefits; enhanced Social Security Administration cross-match and death cross-match systems to help eliminate fraud caused by identity theft; an enhanced incarcerated inmate cross-match to further prevent fraud; and streamlining two legacy systems that detect fraud and UI overpayments and recover overpayments into the agency's modern UI system.


Local Area Unemployment Statistics - 2015 Redesign

IDES has an extensive warehouse of labor market information. For more than forty years, the agency has worked with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in a cooperative agreement called the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program to produce labor force estimates, determine unemployment and workforce participation rates and track job growth, among other related statistics. Every decade, the BLS revises or "redesigns" the LAUS program to ensure accuracy in the data and include labor force estimate updates by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after the decennial census.

The Redesigned LAUS 2015 monthly statewide and substate labor force estimates were published in March and April 2015, beginning with the publication of January 2015 unemployment rates.

For further information, please call (800) 247-4984.