News and Announcements - Article

Illinois Employment Security Offices Closed to Honor President Holidays on Feb. 12 and Feb. 17

​Customers Should Certify; Services Available on Internet

For Immediate Release | Greg Rivara, Media contact: (312) 793-9635  version (pdf)

CHICAGO - Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) offices will be closed Wednesday, Feb. 12 and Monday, Feb. 17 in observance of state and federal holidays. Feb. 12 is a state holiday honoring President Abraham Lincoln. Feb. 17 is a federal and state holiday honoring President George Washington. It also is referred to as Presidents' Day. Offices will re-open Thursday, Feb. 13 and Tuesday, Feb. 18, respectively. Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Although IDES offices will be closed, services will be available at Individuals can apply for unemployment benefits, certify for benefits which is necessary to receive payment, and switch that method of payment to direct deposit. Benefit payments might be delayed for those either certifying on Feb. 12 or 17 or receiving payments on those days.

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. Debit cards also are 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.

The IDES is charged with putting people to work. There are more than 130,000 job openings at, the IDES employment website that links job seekers with ready-to-hire employers. This no-cost, on-line career resource allows individuals to create multiple resumes that emphasize different talents and allows businesses to search for specific skills. Keyword matching technology increases the likelihood of a successful new hire.

Using to apply for jobs or record other job search efforts can ensure on-going eligibility for current and future unemployment insurance benefits.

Illinois employers have created more than 281,000 new jobs in the past four years. The state unemployment rate for December, the most recent month available, is 8.6 percent. Illinois' rate is higher than the national rate in good times and in bad. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000 - six of 168 months.