Wisconsin Counties Association: Report released on economic impacts of COVID-19

Forward Analytics, the research arm of the Wisconsin Counties Association, today released their latest report, “The COVID Economy: The Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.”

Despite the largest federal stimulus package in history, the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been significant. This new report from Forward Analytics examines the economic damage wrought by the pandemic in Wisconsin from March through November 2020.

“Wisconsin, like the rest of our nation, has been battered from all directions by COVID-19,” said Forward Analytics Director Dale Knapp.  “This latest report quantifies the impact it has had on workers and businesses, including loss of jobs, reductions in GDP, the closing of small businesses, and increased household reliance on the FoodShare program.”

The hit to Wisconsin’s economy in the first half of 2020, particularly during March through May, was enormous. Wisconsin’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell 11.4%. From mid-March through late-April, more than 440,000 Wisconsinites filed new unemployment claims. That number was 15.6% of those employed in February. The state’s official unemployment rate soared from 3.5% in February to 13.6% in April, the highest it has been since the Great Depression.

Federal assistance helped lessen the economic damage. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act injected nearly $20 billion into the state economy via $1,200 cash payments to individuals, $600 per week of additional unemployment benefits, and forgivable loans to small businesses designed to keep workers on the payroll. Without that federal help, Wisconsin’s total personal income would have declined significantly in the second quarter. Instead, it rose 8%.

The full release can be found below, as well as on the Forward Analytics website: https://bit.ly/2Y7US1p

Direct link to report: