Spotlight: DWD still failing the unemployed

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — In April 2020, a flood of unemployment claims exposed the incompetence and dysfunction in Gov. Tony Evers’ Department of Workforce Development. Two years, later, DWD still is lagging far behind in paying claims — despite record-low unemployment.

“In February 2022 nearly 7% of first unemployment payments were delayed more than 8 weeks. Delays are still elevated at a time when UI claims have fallen below pre-pandemic levels,” Noah Williams, founding director of the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy (CROWE) recently reported.

While 7 percent is a marked improvement from the 50 percent during DWD’s debacle in 2020, and the 25 percent claims-processing delays of eight weeks-plus for much of 2021, the rate is a miserable failure compared to low or average unemployment times over the past decade.

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