Opportunity Wisconsin: Unveils new layoff tracker

MADISON, Wis. — Today, as the U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7 percent, Opportunity Wisconsin unveiled a new website that will share updated and aggregated job data from across the state. The website includes data visualizations on total layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic, layoffs over time by company, layoffs broken down by notice type, companies with the highest number of total layoffs, and several others.

“Our friends and neighbors are facing historic and devastating levels of unemployment,” said Reba Krueger, Opportunity Wisconsin Regional Leader. “As we continue to elevate the stories of those being impacted by President Trump’s destructive policies, this website paints a very clear picture of who is being hit the hardest.”

The monthly job numbers released today do not even fully account for the damage that has been done to workers, small businesses, and the overall economy. Meanwhile, President Trump is laser-focused on “opening the economy” to help the wealthy and well-connected, no matter how many workers and families pay the price.

This will be devastating for Wisconsin workers who will be forced to choose between their jobs and their health – not unlike what we’re already seeing in places like Brown County.

“This president gave meatpacking conglomerates legal carte blanche in the middle of a pandemic and it’s reprehensible and indefensible. It’s reckless and it’s dangerous and it speaks to this president’s complete and total inability to relate to or care about regular people here in Green Bay and the state of Wisconsin and across the United States,” said Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich in a recent Opportunity Wisconsin press call. “It’s offensive to those who are on the frontlines in this community – in our health systems, in our meatpacking plants, in our grocery stores – all across this community providing incredibly essential services. We are asking to have a president and administration that recognizes the gravity of this threat in Green Bay and in Wisconsin and responds appropriately.”

President Trump’s actions will also have a disproportionate impact on Black workers who are more likely to be in service industry jobs and already suffering from the impact of coronavirus at greater rates.

“There’s no going back to normal,” said Angelina Wyatt, RN, a frontline nurse at a Milwaukee mental health facility. “We have to hold these corporations accountable…to make sure they are meeting the needs of the communities that they serve. As long as we have these racial disparities we’re going to continue to see black and brown communities infected at a higher rate.”

Now, more than ever, it should be clear that policymakers should focus on working Wisconsinites and reject President Trump’s attempts to placate Wall Street and give big corporations more handouts.