Graham Kilmer

Unemployment Claims Rising Again

Claims for unemployment in Wisconsin and the U.S. are starting to go up.

By - Dec 11th, 2020 05:19 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.

Initial claims for unemployment were up last week above 800,000 for the first time in seven weeks, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Last week had the highest number of claims the country has seen in the past 10 weeks.

As Urban Milwaukee has reported, the country’s recovery from the massive economic downturn this spring has been slowing down. Specifically, since July, job growth has gone down month over month.

The unemployment rates for Milwaukee and Wisconsin both went up in October.

Wisconsin has also seen rising initial claims for unemployment. In the past seven days there were 22,050 claims for unemployment. In September and October, the number of claims the state was seeing every seven days, on average, was consistently less than 20,000.

There was a huge spike in the number of people filing claims for Pandemic Unemployment (PUA) Assistance last week. PUA is a federal program that provides unemployment assistance to people that are not eligible for traditional state unemployment insurance. Last week there were 427,609 initial claims for the program, an increase of nearly 140,000 from the week before.

Taken together with traditional unemployment, 1.28 million people filed a new unemployment claim last week.

The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the U.S. unemployment rate was 6.7% in November and also that the number of people experiencing long-term unemployment was rising. The report estimated that 37% of all unemployed persons were experiencing long term unemployment — 27 weeks or more.

One federal program Urban Milwaukee has been tracking is Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PEUC). It is for people that have exhausted their traditional state insurance but remain unemployed. It has served as an indicator of the general trend of long term unemployment.

The latest data from November 21st shows that the number of people claiming the program went down that week. This was the first drop in claimants in months. There were 4,532,876 people claiming PEUC that week, down from 4,569,016 the week before.

Read the labor department report here.

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Categories: Economics

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