Unemployment rates in Beloit and Janesville more than quadrupled in April as the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic became more clear, according to state data.
Janesville’s unemployment rate soared to 18.4% in April—way above its 3.6% March jobless rate—making it the fourth-highest rate among Wisconsin’s 33 largest communities, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
Beloit’s unemployment rate rose from 4.7% in March to 17.2% in April, making it the ninth-highest rate among the state’s largest cities.
Superior had the highest unemployment rate among Wisconsin cities at 21.1% in April. It was followed by Manitowoc at 19%, Sheboygan at 18.5%, Janesville at 18.4%, West Allis at 18.3%, Fond du Lac at 18.2%, Racine at 18% and Kenosha at 17.6%.
Fitchburg had the lowest unemployment rate among cities at 9.9% in April, up from 2.1% in March. Madison had an unemployment rate of 11.1% in April, up from 1.9% in March.
Among Wisconsin counties, Rock County reported an unemployment rate of 17% in April, up from 3.8% in March. The county’s jobless rate was 3.3% last April.
Nearby Walworth County had an unemployment rate of 15.1% in April, up from 3.3% in March and 3% in April 2019.
Jefferson County saw an unemployment rate of 12.8% in April, up from 3.3% in March and 2.8% in April 2019.
Green County’s unemployment rate was 12% in April, up from 3.1% in March and 2.7% in April 2019.
Dane County’s unemployment rate was 11.3% in April, up from 2.1% in March and 2.3% in April 2019.
Iron and Menominee counties tied for the highest April unemployment rate among Wisconsin’s 72 counties at 26.2%. Bayfield County was close on their heels with a 24.1% jobless rate.
Lafayette County had the lowest April unemployment rate in the state at 9.7%.
The state’s overall unemployment rate was 14.1% in April, up from 3.1% in March. Wisconsin lost 385,900 private-sector jobs between March and April, according to the Department of Workforce Development.
Between March 15 and May 10, 2.4 million weekly unemployment benefit claims were filed in Wisconsin, according to a statement from Caleb Frostman, the department secretary.
By comparison, the state received 311,000 weekly claims during that period in 2019.
Of the 2.4 million claims, about 1.7 million—or 72%—have been paid.