Graham Kilmer

Long-Term Unemployment Going Up

New claims for unemployment insurance are high, but holding steady in Wisconsin.

By - Oct 30th, 2020 05:58 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.

While initial claims for unemployment insurance are slowly going down, claims for other forms of unemployment assistance continue to rise.

The past two weeks saw new unemployment claims come in below 800,000 nationally. Which is an improvement during the pandemic, but is still roughly three and a half times the number of people that were filing unemployment claims at this time last year. Last week, there were 751,000 initial claims for unemployment nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a federal program for people that aren’t eligible for traditional state unemployment insurance, have been holding relatively steady over the past month. Last week there were nearly 360,000 claims for PUA. Add that to the number of initial claims for state unemployment, and more than one million people filed for unemployment last week.

As Urban Milwaukee previously reported, a federal unemployment program has become an indicator how many people are stuck in long-term unemployment but are running out of unemployment insurance. And the number of Americans claiming that program continues to rise, week over week.

The program is called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). As of Oct. 10, there were 3.7 million people claiming PEUC. In approximately a month, the number of PEUC claimants went up by nearly 2 million.

In Wisconsin, there were 18,389 new claims for unemployment over the past seven days. Which is roughly what the state has seen come in every seven days for the entire month of October.

As of Oct. 10, there are 22.7 million Americans relying on some form of unemployment assistance, according to the labor department.

Unemployment has been steadily declining since spring across the country and in the state. Though the unemployment rate in Milwaukee — 8.4% — remains higher than both the state and national average.

Read the Department of Labor report here.

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Categories: Economics

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