Unemployment benefit applications have topped 626,000 in Wisconsin

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Since March 15 and through the week ending June 6, the number of people in Wisconsin to apply for unemployment insurance benefits has reached 626,697, according to preliminary numbers reported by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce.


In that time, DWD has paid out roughly $1.7 billion in unemployment benefits and received 2.92 million weekly claims. Weekly claims are what people file for a certain calendar week when they want to receive an unemployment benefit payment for that week. 


DWD has paid out 2.13 million claims. Of the total claims received, 11.5% have been denied and 15.6% are being processed.


As we continue onboarding more staff, more people are receiving the unemployment benefits that are due to them, which will help the financial situation for Wisconsin families and communities," DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said. "When Wisconsin families are more economically secure, so are our state's businesses and our overall economy."


There were 22,497 initial applications filed the week ending June 6, compared with 22,835 for the week ending May 30.


The state's unemployment rate in April was 14.1% and some reports have said it has since increased to about 20%.


For the coming months of July-September, Milwaukee-area employers with the most optimistic hiring plans were in construction, durable goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities, wholesale and retail trade, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality, according to Milwaukee-based global employment services company ManpowerGroup Inc. In contrast, local employers expect a decrease in payrolls in nondurable goods manufacturing, professional and business services and other services. Information, financial activities and government job prospects remain unchanged.