Graham Kilmer

Unemployment Rises in Milwaukee

Milwaukee's unemployment rate is still above the national average.

By - Jan 29th, 2021 04:02 pm
On March 19th, the downtown Milwaukee Punch Bowl Social laid off 91 employees. File photo by Jennifer Rick.

On March 19th, the downtown Milwaukee Punch Bowl Social laid off 91 employees. File photo by Jennifer Rick.

Milwaukee’s unemployment went up in December.

According to data from the Department of Workforce Development unemployment in the City of Milwaukee was 8.3% in December, up from 7.9% in November. Countywide, unemployment was 11.1% up from 10.9% the previous month.

This was not a drastic rise in unemployment. But since September the recovery from the unemployment crisis caused by the pandemic essentially ended.

Last month, the U.S. lost more jobs than it gained for the first time since April, when unemployment skyrocketed as the country shut down to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In the final month of 2020, all of Wisconsin’s 12 metro areas saw unemployment increase. In the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis Metropolitan Statistical area unemployment rose from 5.7% to 6%.

Milwaukee and Milwaukee County continue to experience unemployment rates several percentage points higher than the national average, which was 6.7% last month.

The U.S. continues to see hundreds of thousands more unemployment claims each week than it did before the pandemic hit.

Last week, there were 847,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance. There were 426,856 new claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a federal program for those that don’t qualify for traditional state unemployment assistance. Taken together, there were approximately 1.3 million initial unemployment claims last week.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is a federal program that can be accessed when traditional state unemployment insurance is exhausted. It has become a reasonable proxy for whether long-term unemployment is growing. The latest data shows that as of January 9th, more than 800,000 additional people had started claiming PEUC that week.

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Categories: Business, Economics

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