Graham Kilmer

Wisconsin Unemployment at 6.2%

Even as unemployment improves, millions are still being affected by unemployment crisis.

By - Sep 18th, 2020 02:17 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.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in August. 

The state added nearly 35,000 jobs in August, according to the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). But compared to a year ago, the state has still lost 220,000 jobs.

This data is based on the latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which showed unemployment was at 8.4 percent nationally last month, a 1.8 percent decline from July.

The BLS has struggled with properly classifying unemployed persons in their monthly survey since the start of the pandemic, but it has improved month over month. In August, the unemployment rate was calculated too low by an estimated .7 percent. Making the likely unemployment rate in August, 9.1 percent.

Black Americans are still being disproportionately affected by the unemployment crisis. Throughout the pandemic, the unemployment rate among Black people has been higher than any other sub-population, and well above the national average. The unemployment rate among Black people — 13 percent — is nearly 5 percentage points higher than the national average, right now.

More than 24 million people lost their job at some point in August because their employer closed or lost business.

The jobs report shows that people are starting to telework less, but a significant chunk of people that have a job are still working from home. In August, approximately 24 percent of people with a job were teleworking, down from approximately 26 percent in July.

As of the end of August, there were nearly 30 million people relying on some type of unemployment assistance.

Last week, 860,000 filed initial claims for unemployment insurance. And another 658,737 people filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Taken together, more than 1.5 million people applied for some type of unemployment assistance last week.

In Wisconsin, there were more than 14,000 initial claims for unemployment over the seven days since the last time Urban Milwaukee reported on it.

Read the BLS Report here. Read the DWD report here.

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Categories: Business, Economics, Health

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