February Jobless Filings Released

(Dodge County) In the last look at jobless numbers before coronavirus changed everything, the Department of Workforce Development has released its February filings. Dodge County fared well from January to February with a drop of three-tenths to 3.8-percent after posting a 3.6-percent in February of last year. Fond du Lac County also dropped three-tenths over the two-month period to 3.4-percent. Columbia County edged up one-tenth to 4.2-percent. Green Lake County was at 5.9-percent in February while Jefferson County was at 4-percent, both down one-tenth from January. Washington County was down two-tenths to 3.3-percent. Dane County had the lowest rate in the state for February at 2.5-percent while Burnett County had the highest at 8.2-percent. Preliminary February unemployment rates decreased or stayed the same in 55 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties over the month, while 15 of Wisconsin’s counties had unemployment rates that declined or stayed the same over the year. All of those numbers are expected to look drastically different when filing details are released for March. Last week alone, the Department of Workforce Development took over 1.5 million calls from people seeking to file an unemployment claim. Director Noah Williams with the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy at UW-Madison placed the current state unemployment rate at more than 11-percent, up from 4-percent in February. Williams tells WTMJ that he would not be surprised if we reach 20-percent in the next month, breaking the state’s record-high unemployment rate of 12-percent set in 1983. Williams says one year ago, people were filing about 800 claims a day. For the last two weeks, it’s up to around 20-thousand claims per day.