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    The Illinois Department of Employment Security, or IDES, is mostly known for managing the state’s unemployment compensation program, but it provides many more services you can benefit from. This article will provide a brief overview of the services the department provides and what you must do to benefit from them.

    Unemployment Compensation

    Applying for unemployment benefits is usually the first reason workers deal with the IDES. The IDES provides temporary financial assistance during periods of unemployment to insured workers. The program is paid for by employers who must pay an employment insurance tax for all their employees.

    The first step if you need unemployment benefits is to register with IDES and file a new claim. You can choose to do this online, over the phone or face to face with a customer service officer at one of IDES’ offices or Work Centers. Click here for a searchable database of IDES offices and Work Centers. Once you register with IDES you will be assigned to a particular office, but you are free to visit other offices if your wish.

    If you are an employer and would like to understand how to comply with employment law in Illinois, click here for an in-depth description of your rights and responsibilities.

    In 2011 the maximum rate employers must pay in employment insurance tax is 8.4 percent, while the minimum is 0.7 percent. The taxable wage base these rates are base on is $12,740. The rate paid for each employee is dependent on several factors, such as the experience of employers.

    Job Search

    The second aspect of the IDES workers will usually bump into is its Job Search service. The IDES manages Illinois Skills Match, a powerful job search engine designed, would you believe it, to match job seekers with employers.

    The IDES also sponsors job fairs, resume and employment events and job hunting workshops for unemployed workers. It also provides special programs focused on veterans and re-entry to the workforce programs.

    These programs include special allowances and tax credits for companies which hire disadvantaged workers and the use of IDES buildings for recruiting.

    If you are just out of high school or college the IDES provides specialized Career Information events which provide you with the information you need to make sound career decisions. Interested in knowing which jobs are in-demand in your areal, what their pay scale is and what opportunities of advancement you can expect? Click here for access to IDES’ workforce and career information.

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