|MADISON – As upgrades to Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance system continue, the Department of Workforce Development has released a new data dashboard that improves access to current and historical data on UI activity.
“Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance system was the first in the nation (1932) to provide temporary support to workers who lose jobs through no fault of their own and today, increased analytical capabilities are critical as DWD modernizes and improves customer service,” said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek. “The new data dashboard enhances transparency and provides historical context about claims.”
Unemployment insurance was developed to strengthen the state’s economic competitiveness by maintaining a stable and skilled workforce. Employers pay premiums into the insurance system, while benefits are paid to qualified workers as they seek other employment. In addition to supporting workers and their families during job transitions, unemployment insurance benefits counteract economic downturns and protect all businesses as workers use the benefits to cover housing, food, and other expenses.
The new UI dashboard provides insight into the strength of Wisconsin’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 downturn. For example, the new dashboard shows how the claim volume during 2020 eclipsed the past 36 years, including the years known as the “Great Recession,” and how the recovery has reduced the number of unemployed people filing claims.
The tool also tracks calls. From May 1, 2022 through May 7, 2022, UI answered 7,894 calls compared to a 52-week rolling average of 28,429 phone calls. This is in comparison to the over 60,000 calls that UI answered in the same week a year earlier.
The new dashboard is among several modernization efforts underway at DWD. Other recent and ongoing efforts include:
Through the solutions already in progress, DWD is now paying 84% of regular weekly UI claims within one to three days of filing. For the pandemic period of March 15, 2020 to May 14, 2022, DWD has paid out a total of $7.4 billion in UI benefits to 691,000 claimants. In addition to providing relief to these individuals and their families, the funds have supported local businesses and communities, stabilizing the state’s economy.
Find the new dashboard on the UI Activity page.