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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Urges UI Claimants to File Using Improved Online System

Seasonal filing uptick in cold-weather states follows arrival of late fall and winter, including holiday weeks

MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is encouraging Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants to file initial and weekly claims using the agency's improved online system. Claimants who file online can avoid wait times associated with filing by telephone during the seasonal increase in filing activity that Wisconsin and other cold-weather states experience during the late fall and first half of winter.

Claimants who file initial claims online can take advantage of several improvements that were rolled out this fall:

Those who file weekly claims online also have access to additional features, such as:

Wisconsin's unemployment rate recently reached a new post-recession low of 5.5%. In addition, initial weekly UI claims for the first 45 weeks of 2014 dropped to their lowest point since 1999, and the year to date average weekly UI claims are at their lowest levels since 2000. The expected seasonal increase in claims activity seen in cold-weather states, however, is an annual occurrence that is independent of any general trend in unemployment rates.

While DWD's telephone-based automated filing system will continue to operate for claimants who prefer to file initial and weekly claims by phone instead of through the Internet, phone-based wait times are affected during peak volume hours, particularly during holiday weeks when telephone-based services are unavailable.

In addition to promoting the improved UI online system, DWD is taking additional steps to help minimize wait times associated with the telephone-based filing and inquiry systems during the upcoming season, including:

On the web: http://dwd.wi.gov/uiben/online/

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