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Illinois quick hits: Unemployment rate increases; summer food assistance approved

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Unemployment rate increases

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.8% in April. The national unemployment rate was 3.9% in April, up a percentage point from the previous month.

The number of unemployed workers was 313,200, up 0.3% from the prior month, and up 17% over the same month one year ago. In April, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month job gains included Professional and Business Services, Private Education and Health Services, and Leisure and Hospitality.

Summer food assistance approved

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that Illinois’ Summer EBT plan has been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture. As a result, Illinois will be one of the first states to provide additional food assistance to over 1 million children this summer.

Officials said the program aims to provide food support to economically disadvantaged children during the summer months. Eligible children will receive a one-time $120 issuance, supporting families in helping children access food throughout the summer.

Medical debt on credit reports

The Illinois General Assembly has passed legislation that the sponsor said is an effort to combat the rising problem of medical debt impacting an individual’s credit rating.

Under the measure, a consumer reporting agency would be prohibited from making a credit report containing any adverse information about the consumer related to medical debt.

The legislation now goes to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his signature before being enacted into law.