Wisconsin unemployment applications jump by nearly 500

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — The number of Wisconsinites who filed initial unemployment applications last week rose nearly 500 from the previous week, according to the state Department of Workforce Development.
The DWD announced Monday that preliminary figures show that 14,605 people filed initial claims, compared with 14,119 the previous week.
Out of the new applicants, 1,519 had exhausted their Unemployment Insurance benefits, so they applied for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. That program, the third and final benefit through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security provides up to 13 additional weeks of payments.
Weekly claims last week totaled 172,807, a continued high volume that state officials attribute largely to the category of “weekly claims in process.” That involves reviewing and addressing issues that arise.
About 492,650 Wisconsin claimants have been paid more than $3.42 billion in state and federal programs since March 15.
“As we continue working through the historic volume of claims, the needs of out-of-work Wisconsinites continue to drive our collective sense of purpose at DWD,” department Secretary Caleb Frostman said.
“Every eligible claim resolved means groceries in the fridge, local businesses supported, and bills paid throughout Wisconsin. We will continue to do everything in our power to make progress on our unprecedented caseload on behalf of claimants across our state.”
Another COVID-19-related program is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, designated for those who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance. The temporary federal program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to individuals who are not eligible for regular UI such as:
• Individuals who are self-employed.
• Certain independent contractors.
• Individuals with limited recent work history.
• Other workers who cannot receive regular UI.