Graham Kilmer

Wisconsin Unemployment Rate Down To 8.5%

Wisconsin showed job gains in June. But the number of new unemployment claims filed each week is holding steady at historic highs.

By - Jul 17th, 2020 10:15 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.

Unemployment in Wisconsin has dropped below 10 percent, according to the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

The state’s unemployment rate dropped in June from 12.1 percent to 8.5 percent, with the service and hospitality sector showing the largest gains. A year ago Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was below four percent.

Meanwhile, the number of new unemployment claims coming in holds steady in the U.S. and Wisconsin.

The U.S. saw approximately 1.3 million new unemployment claims last week, holding steady with the previous week, which also saw approximately 1.3 million new unemployment claims. The number of new unemployment claims since the start of the pandemic is now at 51.8 million.

There were 928,488 new claims filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) last week. Down slightly from the previous week’s PUA claims, which exceeded one million.

In the past seven days, Wisconsin has seen 24,255 new claims for unemployment. Since the start of the pandemic, Wisconsin has seen nearly 800,000 claims for unemployment insurance. During that same period last year the state saw just over 80,000.

The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed U.S. unemployment at approximately 11 percent in June. A drop from the previous month but still well above the worst weeks of the Great Recession.

The numbers of weekly new unemployment claims, that have held steady for more than a month now, are far above the number of claims that were coming in last year at this time, when unemployment was less than four percent.

A recent survey conducted by SurveyMonkey for the New York Times showed that the majority of people currently unemployed don’t expect to return to their old job.

In Wisconsin, the loss of employment income has remained above 40 percent for the past 10 weeks, according to a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. And the latest data shows nearly 50 percent of Wisconsin households have lost employment income during the pandemic.

The Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think-tank, analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and determined there are approximately three unemployed workers for every one job opening in the country right now.

And waiting around the corner, the $600 dollar increase in unemployment benefits for everyone in the country that qualified for unemployment insurance is set to expire next week.

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Categories: Business, Economics

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