DWD: Over 45,000 new unemployment applications in WI in the last week

Photo courtesy MGN.
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is reporting rising unemployment applications as the coronavirus outbreak continues to grip our state.

According to new numbers released from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) on Thursday, over 45,000 people have filed initial unemployment applications so far this week.

"Anybody who is experiencing a job slow down or a job loss should file for unemployment benefits," said Emily Savard, Program and Policy Analyst with the Unemployment Insurance Division.

Just on Thursday, the DWD received 16,252 applications. That's compared to last Sunday, when 1,499 applications were reported.

"Although we don’t have an option for individuals filing to indicate if they are filing due to job loss caused by COVID-19, the spike in claims correlates with the timeline and the number of claims far surpasses the amount of claims filed on the same days and during the same week as last year," DWD spokesperson Tyler L. Tichenor said in an email.

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According to the latest numbers from DWD’s website, compared to 2019:

Total Initial Applications Filed each day starting 3/15/2020:
2020: / 2019:
Sunday: 1,499 / 826
Monday: 4,392 / 1,392
Tuesday: 8,603 / 818
Wednesday: 14,988 / 725
Thursday: 16,252 / 703
Friday: n/a / 789
Saturday : n/a / 26

NOTE: According to the DWD, daily counts noted are preliminary counts and not official. After the claims are processed and verified, the counts are reported weekly to USDOL.


Last Wednesday, President Trump signed a $100 billion relief bill into law, which will expand paid leave as well as unemployment insurance for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new guidelines on unemployment insurance, granting greater flexibility to states (including Wisconsin) in determining who qualifies for unemployment insurance benefits.

Apply for benefits

CLICK HERE to learn more about the DWD's response to the coronavirus.

CLICK HERE to apply for unemployment benefits in Wisconsin.