Wisconsin unemployment near pre-pandemic rate

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate stood at 3.9% in April, a stark contrast to one year earlier when the coronavirus pandemic gripped the state and the unemployment rate hit levels not seen since the Great Depression.

In April 2020, the first full month that COVID-19 forced closures of many businesses, Wisconsin's unemployment rate was 14.1%, more than four times higher than it had been the month before. In March 2020 unemployment was at 3.1% in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's current rate remains below the national average of 6.1%. Wisconsin added 8,200 private sector jobs in April, bringing its total to 261,200 more than a year ago as employers shed workers early in the pandemic. A year ago, the state lost 386,000 private sector jobs in one month.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reported the latest unemployment numbers Thursday.

In recent days, those Wisconsin communities that still had mask requirements and other restrictions in place have been announcing their end as the pandemic eases and vaccinations increase.

As of May 21, 2020, Wisconsin had recorded nearly 14,000 COVID-19 cases and 487 deaths. A year later, the state had more than 607,000 cases and nearly 7,000 deaths.

To date, 46% of the state's population had received at least one dose of vaccine and more than 41% were fully vaccinated.

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