Graham Kilmer

1 in 7 Workers File For Unemployment During Pandemic

Unemployment continues to rise in Wisconsin and across the country.

By - Apr 23rd, 2020 05:57 pm
On March 19th, the downtown Milwaukee Punch Bowl Social laid off 91 employees. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

On March 19th, the downtown Milwaukee Punch Bowl Social laid off 91 employees. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

One in seven United States workers have lost their job since the beginning of March.

The latest numbers on unemployment claims nationwide were released by the U.S. Department of Labor Thursday showing that 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.

The number of people that have filed for unemployment insurance since the start of pandemic is now at 26.9 million.

While there was a small drop in the number of filers last week, compared to the week prior, the four week rolling average continues to rise. That latest average number of people to file for unemployment in a week is now 5.8 million.

Between 16 and 17 percent of the labor force has become unemployed since the beginning of March. Add to that the pre-unemployment rate of 4.4 percent and the current unemployment rate could be 20 percent or higher right now.

For context, that would put U.S. unemployment approximately in line with levels not seen since the Great Depression. The non-partisan Economic Policy Institute is estimating that the current unemployment rate is approximately 18.3 percent.

In Wisconsin, 52,439 people filed for unemployment over the past seven days. During that same span of time in 2019, the state saw 4,569 unemployment claims. Nearly half a million Wisconsinites filed for unemployment during the pandemic, with the state reporting 444,454 claims since March 15.

Last week, a personal finance website called WalletHub ranked Wisconsin as the state with the third-lowest percentage increase in unemployment claims. This week, Wisconsin fell in WalletHub’s rankings to become the state with the sixth-lowest percentage increase in unemployment claims.

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Categories: Business, Economics, Health

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