Worker Experiences

COVID-19 is transforming work more rapidly than standard data can track. Workers’ lives provide a more immediate picture. We’ve spoken to workers in various sectors and across the state to better understand what the economy looks like for these workers, as well as the impact on workers of policies (or lack thereof) at the state and federal levels. We are grateful to the workers who shared their experience with us.

LISA ON NURSING HOME CARE WORK

“Our residents don't have anybody anymore but us. They are isolated from their families, their friends, their loved ones – everybody that they are used to being with,”

TROY ON OLD INEQUALITIES UNDER THE PANDEMIC

"From the 30 years that I’ve been working in hospitality, I say: ‘I’m always bringing something to the table, always putting something on the table. Why won’t they ever let me eat?’”

DEMETRICA ON PPE FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND ACCESSING ASSISTANCE

“They’re making it very hard to live right now.”

ANTHONY ON UNION SUPPORT AND BLACK LIVES MATTER

“We had a good team and a nice support system with our union.”

MICHAEL ON ESSENTIAL AND EXPOSED WORK

"It’s much riskier now and it’s not worth it. I know I’m gonna have to find a new profession.”

Learn More about Working Wisconsin's Economy

An Unprecedented Era

In just a few months, COVID-19 upended the Wisconsin economy. The crisis has touched nearly every worker. Read more about why we created the digital State of Working Wisconsin.

READ MORE

The pandemic has worsened racial 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.

READ RACE IN THE HEARTLAND