A New Report for an Unpredictable Era
For more than two decades, we’ve released The State of Working Wisconsin. This year, we’ve released a new digital report to meet the reality of the COVID-19 crisis. Explore below for profiles of workers, monthly updates of economic data indicators, analysis from experts, and more.
Working Wisconsin in the COVID-19 Crisis
The COVID-19 crisis has touched nearly every worker. Read our big-picture analysis of the patterns emerging.
Highlighting Worker Experiences
COVID-19 is transforming work more rapidly than standard data can track. Workers’ lives provide a more immediate picture.
Tracking the Crisis
In March, COVID-19’s impact on the economy was immediate. Jobs plummeted. Unemployment skyrocketed. Key data show how we are doing relative to February 2020, before the collapse.
In February 2021, Wisconsin had 5.5% fewer jobs than before the COVID-19 crisis hit.
In February 2021, unemployment held steady at 3.8%, just above the February 2020 level (3.5%).
This sector – restaurants, hotels, and more – has been hardest hit; it has lost one-fifth of its jobs.
Explore the Data
Our Interactive Data Dashboard
The impact of COVID-19 is fast-moving and frequently changing. Dig deeper into unemployment and jobs data, comparing Wisconsin, the US, and the 50 states.
Explore the Data
Our Analysis of the Monthly Data
Because of the virus, this crisis is unlike other economic recessions. Each month, new economic data is released. We analyze these economic indicators through the lens of how they impact working people.
Read This Month’s Analysis
Data Analysis & Insights
In February, Wisconsin continued its economic growth as more residents were vaccinated and some areas loosened restrictions on indoor dining, gatherings, and more.March 29, 2021
There are number of sources of hope: falling COVID cases, increasing vaccination, and the federal American Rescue Plan. In the coming months, hopefully these positive signs will turn into economic opportunity for the workers in Wisconsin who need it most.March 19, 2021
Serious federal commitment to the workers who have been most harmed and to state and local governments is absolutely necessary to build the economy and support families who are in economic crisis.February 2, 2021
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Pandemic Exposes and Exacerbates Black-white Disparities
Before the COVID-19 crisis, Black-white disparities in Wisconsin were among the worst in the nation. COWS documented these disparities in our 2019 report, Race in the Heartland. As COVID-19 has widened Black-white gaps nationally, Wisconsin’s racial divide, already pronounced, is likely growing as well. The response to the crisis and the recovery must focus on racial justice.