Graham Kilmer

1 in 4 Workers Unemployed

Pandemic continues to ravage economy.

By - May 21st, 2020 03:14 pm
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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 being filed on a weekly basis continues to drop in Wisconsin and across the country. However, the claims are still coming in at levels unprecedented before the pandemic, and the numbers are adding up to one of the worst unemployment levels the country has ever seen.

Wisconsin saw 28,525 new claims in the past week. During the same seven-day period last year, the state saw 3,514. The state has seen 584,472 new claims since March 15th. During that same period of time last year there were only 43,906.

Nationwide 2.4 million new unemployment claims in the past week. A total of 39.1 million claims have been filed since the beginning of March. Approximately equivalent to 23 percent of the U.S. labor force. These numbers mean that approximately one in four people in the U.S. have lost their job since the start of the pandemic.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the most up to date unemployment rate for the country showing 14.7 percent unemployment. It was the first public figure that relied upon data collected during the pandemic. But, by the bureau’s own admission, there was a classification error in classifying respondents to their poll throwing off their figure by five percentage points.

That means, in the middle of April, unemployment in the U.S. was at 20 percent. Not only does this eclipse the unemployment seen during the height of the Great Recession, but it puts unemployment in line with that seen during the Great Depression.

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Categories: Business, Economics, Health

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