State won’t release March layoff and company-closure numbers

Illinois official said it was due to “overload of notices submitted” and staff shortage; other real estate-related services were also suspended

Chicago /
Mar.March 31, 2020 05:10 PM
Chicago City Hall at 121 N. LaSalle St. (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

Chicago City Hall at 121 N. LaSalle St. (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

Several real estate-related services in Chicago and statewide that are usually accessible to the public are temporarily unavailable — and record-keeping operation suspended — amid the wider disruption the coronavirus crisis has caused.

The impact of Covid-19 has led companies throughout Chicago and across the state to lay off and furlough employees, but that information will not be released for March.

Companies are required to send out WARN notices to employees 60 days in advance of any mass layoff, and the state Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity ordinarily releases the information, including the company, number of employees being laid off and location.

That will not happen for March “due to the overload of notices submitted and short staff,” the state Department of Commerce’s John Ray told The Real Deal.

Offices that have been closed include the Cook County Assessor’s Office and Recorder of Deeds, along with the City Clerk’s Office. While some information from those departments are available online, the state has also stopped updating other operations on its website.

Since late February, new property documents haven’t been uploaded to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds website. The office closed to employees and the public on Friday. The website is still accepting documents submitted electronically. They will be placed in a queue and logged in the order they were received. Documents can also still be mailed to the office.

The Assessor’s Office has suspended property assessment notice mailings and appeal deadlines. Property owners are still able to file homeowner exemptions and appeals online. Some employees at the assessor’s office will work remotely, officials said.

In a Tuesday press conference, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he will lengthen the statewide stay-at-home order, as well as the disaster proclamation, for another month. The order had been set to expire April 7. It was implemented March 21, and among other things requires all non-essential businesses be closed. Construction, which is considered “essential business,” remains ongoing.


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