Wisconsin Unemployment

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Jake has the 2019 gold standard numbers, and they are just terrible. Wisconsin’s rate of job growth started to decline in mid-2016, and has pretty much gone down since then, with the except of a Bubbly 6 months after the GOP Tax Scam was signed into law. But last year was a new depth, with barely more than 5,000 jobs added from December 2018 to December 2019, and we even slipped below 0 in November before a small rebound in the last month of 2019. Jake compares the jobs picture in Wisconsin with Minnesota, and the comparison does not…
Right now, there are many, many unemployment claims being filed in Wisconsin. But, the problems folks in Wisconsin are having with their claims arise to a great degree from policy choices being made about how those claims should be processed and how the Department decides to enforce federal and state legal requirements. Last week, the NY Times Upshot examined claims data for all 5o states and concluded that, in general, states have made it harder to get jobless benefits. The story included three charts indicating in various ways how unemployment eligibility and payments have changed for each state. Here…
Unemployment claim-filing is up, way up. Initial Claim-filing data 2020 2019 ratio w/e 03/14 5,698 5,587 1.0 w/e 03/21 69,342 5,216 13.3 w/e 03/28 115,679 5,640 20.5 w/e 04/04 103,226 5,173 20.0 w/e 04/11 65,654 4,619 14.2 w/e 04/18 56,038 4,624 12.1 w/e 04/25 48,630 4,570 10.6 w/e 05/02 39,278 4,146 9.5 w/e 05/09 35,134 4,026 8.7 Source: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/covid19/public/ui-stats.htm For the week ending May 16th, initial claims filed on Sunday alone (4,135) were more than all the claims filed the equivalent, entire week in 2019 (3,460). So, even as the trend in new claims is slowing, the numbers are still…
Unemployment benefits are specifically geared to provide benefits when there is a sudden loss of work, including catastrophic and widespread job loss. Indeed, the story of how unemployment was started in Wisconsin bears this point out in detail. It is no accident that unemployment started in the Great Depression. So, the meltdown in unemployment systems in which phone systems and on-line systems are crashing and breaking is particularly noteworthy. Unemployment is supposed to be as simple and as easy to manage as possible. That simplicity is one of the reasons unemployment was considered to be one of the central mechanisms…
On April 14th, the Department released some initial guidance on PUA benefits — the unemployment benefits available to those who do NOT qualify for regular unemployment benefits. As already noted, the Department will begin accepting PUA claims the week of April 21st. Note: Scammers have popped up relating to unemployment claims. While you are entitled to representation for any part of the unemployment filing process, you should be extremely cautious about anyone who wants money up front or wants you to turn over your confidential claim-filing information. The Department has severe penalties for those who do NOT keep their…
All states have reportedly signed agreements with the Department of Labor to implement the CARES Act unemployment provisions. Here is when you can expect to start receiving these benefits, if eligible, for Wisconsin and a few other states and territories. PEUC benefits These Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits are available to anyone who is no longer eligible for other kinds of unemployment benefits from the date the state signed its agreement with the Department of Labor. If a person exhausts PEUC benefits, they should be eligible for PUA benefits according to Labor Department guidance. See UIPL 16-20, §…
Reports emerged last week about how efforts in Florida to make claim-filing more difficult are now knee-capping unemployment eligibility during this pandemic. Privately, Republicans admit that the $77.9 million system that is now failing Florida workers is doing exactly what Scott designed it to do — lower the state’s reported number of jobless claims after the great recession. “It’s a sh– sandwich, and it was designed that way by Scott,” said one DeSantis advisor. “It wasn’t about saving money. It was about making it harder for people to get benefits or keep benefits so that the unemployment numbers were low…
Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development is reporting on its FAQ that is will take several weeks to receive guidance about the unemployment provisions in the CARES act and then probably another several weeks before those provisions can be implemented. Note: The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has already released its analysis of the CARES act as well as the earlier Families First act. This analysis notes some key provisions of these laws that DWD has yet to address, notably employer experience rating for pandemic-related layoffs. Wisconsin may not have the time to wait. The Economic Policy Institute reports that nearly 20 million
Claims have sky-rocketed in the past few weeks, and the Department of Workforce Development has been providing daily updates on these numbers: Before pandemic claims started Week 11 2020 2019 ratio Sunday 746 948 0.8 Monday 1,237 1,376 0.9 Tuesday 809 811 1.0 Wednesday 674 738 0.9 Thursday 710 711 1.0 Friday 985 786 1.3 Saturday 537 217 2.5 Totals 5,698 5,587 1.0 When pandemic claims started Week 12 2020 2019 ratio Sunday 1,499 826 1.8 Monday 4,392 1,329 3.3 Tuesday 8,603 818 10.5 Wednesday 14,988 725 20.7 Thursday 16,252 703 23.1 Friday 17,094 789 21.7 Saturday 6,514 26 250.5…
Update-1 (26 Mar. 2020): the Ways and Means committee just released a FAQ on this bill. Update-2 (26 Mar. 2020): a comparison of current pandemic relief measures from the Center for Economic and Policy Research and a press release from NELP on the new bill. Legislative leaders agreed on a bill, then there were some additional negotiations, and the senate has now passed an 880 page bill. Here is a summary of the unemployment provisions. New kinds of unemployment assistance The Act creates a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program which will be available for a large swath of workers…
Current federal proposals Last week, a bill was introduced in the Senate to provide unemployment benefits comprehensively to all workers affected by the pandemic. As the sponsoring senators explain: The program will be particularly helpful for those without paid sick leave, and will cover self-employed workers and workers without sufficient work history to qualify for regular unemployment insurance. Workers who would qualify for assistance under the program include: Individuals who are sick or who have been exposed to coronavirus Individuals who must care for someone who is sick with coronavirus Individuals who cannot reach their place of work because of…
Jenn Bizzotto of Wisconsin Judicare has written the following FAQ that offers some excellent advice for those filing unemployment claims during this pandemic. Do not forget to also read through these filing tips. Unemployment FAQs Q: Can I apply for unemployment if my work hours were reduced or eliminated due to COVID-19? A: In general, yes. However, for every week you claim you must still be physically able to work. So, if you are so sick with COVID-19—or any other serious illness—that you physically can’t work, you are not eligible to receive benefits for as long as you’re too…
As indicated by the Department through its new initial claims data, initial unemployment claims are already up 20x from the number of claims being filed last year. Any one who has not filed an unemployment claim recently should review or gather the following information. First, a 2018 post has important tips for how to file an unemployment claim. Here is a PDF of that post for easy printing. Do and read everything in this post (outside of job searches — see below). Second, the job search information in this post is unnecessary at the moment, given the widespread/societal job
Wisconsin released an emergency order late last night. The order does quite a lot. Availability for work exists even when suspected of being sick or in quarantine. Suspected of being sick or in quarantine constitutes good cause for missing an eligibility review (a typo in the order mistakenly refers to section 2 when it should state section 1). Absences from work do not legally exist while a public health emergency is declared if the absences are connected to quarantine. There are no job search requirements during the public health emergency, retroactive to March 12th (the date a public health emergency…