Wisconsin's unemployment rate drops, many still waiting for relief

According to data released by the state on Thursday, Sept. 17, Wisconsin's unemployment rate was 6.2% in August -- down 0.9% from July. But many people are still waiting for a payday.

Many of those people have turned to the state for unemployment benefits, so many that the state can't keep up, forcing thousands of people without a paycheck to pay the price.

If you have ever played the telephone game, you know that messages can get lost in translation. 

Katrina Jackson just wants someone to pick up the phone.

"I've been hung up on. I haven't heard anything -- no answers," said Jackson. "It's terrible."

The Milwaukee stylist was forced out of business, a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. She applied for unemployment nearly six months ago; she's still waiting.

"I even helped some people complete their unemployment," Jackson said. "They've gotten their money, and I still haven't gotten mine."

Katrina Jackson

Katrina Jackson

Like a game of telephone, the state can't explain why Jackson is still waiting.

"Basically they keep saying that my case is handed over to jurisdiction and that's been pending ever since March," said Jackson. "There is nothing that anyone can tell me."

Gov. Tony Evers said the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is working to process more than 700,000 unemployment claims, but he can't predict when the state will catch up.

Gov. Tony Evers

"COVID-19 has put historically enormous strains on our system," said Gov. Evers. "We have to do better in this arena.

"We continue to add staff and we will continue to add staff until the point when we can cover making sure that people's, they get what they deserve."

Financial relief can't come soon enough for Jackson and thousands of others who are running low on savings -- and patience.

"I just want answers. It would be better if I knew what was going on. I don't know anything," Jackson said.

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When it comes to paying her bills, Jackson can't afford to play games.

FOX6 News reached out to the DWD to try to get Jackson some answers. No one returned that call.

'Enormous strains:' Wisconsin unemployment wait continues for some

Gov. Evers said there are not enough trained employees to handle a historic unemployment workload that came with COVID-19. More than 700,000 claims still need processing.