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Throughout last week, the U.S. Senate was debating competing proposals to extend emergency unemployment benefits that had been allowed to expire in December. At stake are benefits for the long-term unemployed–those without a job for 27 weeks or longer.

In Illinois, nearly half of the state’s unemployment population were jobless for 27 weeks or longer, shows a Chicago Reporter analysis of the Illinois Department of Employment Security records. The share of the long-term jobless among all unemployed was the third highest in the nation, behind Florida and Connecticut.

[Photo by Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock]

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Rui Kaneya

is investigations editor at The Chicago Reporter.