Graham Kilmer

Milwaukee Unemployment at 8.4%

The unemployment rate for Milwaukee County is slightly lower, 7.3%.

By - Oct 23rd, 2020 06:05 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.

The unemployment rate in the Milwaukee area remains higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wisconsin last month was 5.4%, according to the state’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Nationally the unemployment rate was 7.9%.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for the City of Milwaukee in September was 8.4%. Out of the 34 largest municipalities in the state, Milwaukee had the highest rate of unemployment, according to figures released by DWD. But it did record a drop in unemployment from 10.1% in August.

The unemployment rate for Milwaukee County was slightly lower than the city, at 7.3% last month. Only four out of 72 counties had a higher unemployment rate than Milwaukee. But it did record a drop. In August the rate was 8.9%

The unemployment rate for the Milwaukee – Waukesha – West Allis Metropolitan Statistical Area in September was 6%, a drop from 7.5% in August.

According to DWD, there were 815,200 employed workers in the statistical area last month. An improvement from the previous month. But despite returning jobs, the area has still lost 56,500 jobs since September 2019.

In the past seven days, there were 17,187 initial unemployment claims across the state.

Across the U.S., there were 787,000 initial claims for unemployment last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This is approximately 55,000 fewer claims than the previous week.

Claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) went up, however. PUA is a federal program for people that don’t qualify for traditional state unemployment insurance. Last week, there were 345,440 claims for PUA, up more than 8,000 from the previous week.

And most notably, claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) have continued to rise. PEUC is another federal program, though this one is for people that have run out of their traditional state unemployment benefits.

As of Oct. 3rd, there were 3.3 million people claiming PEUC. Approximately half a million additional people started claiming the program in less than a week, as there were approximately 2.8 million people claiming it the week before.

Rising PEUC means that while initial claims for traditional state unemployment are slowly dropping across the country, the number of people who have exhausted their insurance but remain unemployed is rising.

There were 23.2 million people in the U.S. relying on some sort of unemployment assistance on Oct. 3rd. A year ago at that time, there were only 1.4 million people relying on some form of unemployment assistance.

Read the DWD local unemployment report here. Read the Department of Labor report here.

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Categories: Economics

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