The unemployment rate in Wisconsin has reached a level not seen since the Great Depression. The state’s jobless rate rose, from just over three percent in March, to just over 14 percent in April.

The Department of Workforce Development said preliminary estimates show that a loss of 385,900 private-sector jobs from March to April, and a total loss of 439,400 total non-farm jobs.

“Today’s report shows the significant impact that the COVID-19 global pandemic has had on the Wisconsin economy, and underscores the importance of rationally and safely reopening our state,” DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said. “A strategy based on science that reduces the likelihood of additional outbreaks and further economic instability is the only way to get Wisconsin back on the path of historically low unemployment rates that the state was experiencing prior to COVID-19.”

April was the first full month of the Safer at Home order imposed by Governor Tony Evers due to the coronavirus pandemic. That forced most nonessential businesses to close, and led to crippling unemployment.

The state’s unemployment rate is just below national average of 14.7 %.

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