Graham Kilmer

Number of New Unemployment Claims Decreasing, Still In Millions

Lowest number of new claims submitted since pandemic began.

By - May 15th, 2020 10:57 am
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.

The number of new unemployment claims coming in at the state and national level has been slowly decreasing, but the numbers are still significant.

This past week, the U.S. saw 2.9 million unemployment claims. That’s the first time in seven weeks that the country has seen less than three million claims in a week, even if just barely.

A total of 36.9 million unemployment claims have been filed since the beginning of March. That figure is equivalent to approximately 22 percent of the country’s labor force.

In Wisconsin, the state saw 33,296, bringing the number of claims since March 15 up to 555,947. That figure represents roughly 18 percent of the state’s workforce.

Wisconsin is the third least affected state or territory in the U.S. when it comes to unemployment claims, according to the personal finance website NerdWallet.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the first official unemployment rate to include data from after the start of the pandemic. Their report found that in the middle of April, the unemployment rate in the country was 14.7 percent.

That figure is well above the levels seen during the worst weeks of the Great Recession. And, as Urban Milwaukee reported, the unemployment rate in the April jobs report seems to be tracking closely to the number of unemployment claims. It is still a lagging indicator of the number of claims filed.

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Categories: Economics, Health

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