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Handling record-breaking unemployment

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- Wisconsin received nearly 20,000 unemployment claims each day this week, following a record-breaking national trend.

Job Centers across the state closed their doors Wednesday morning. That same day, 19,438 people filed claims online or by phone.

Wisconsin Secretary of Workforce Development Caleb Frostman noted: "twelve days ago, the number of claims we got was 1,500 in one day and Monday of this week we had 21,000."

Frostman said his department was prepared for this. Since the great recession, they've been cross-training employees to handle a similar situation.

Still, "this is volume like we've never seen before," said Frostman.

With limited resources, he suggested jobless Wisconsinites take on part-time work and apply for part-time unemployment.

Grocers and foodservice industries are ramping up business, so are financial institutions.

Park City Credit Union CEO Val Mindak said, "most of us have really ramped up our staff and realigned staff so that we are here."

Mindak said one of your first moves should be revising your budget. "It's a time where you really need to sit down and strategize, as a family, what you are going to do," she said.

Next, reach out to your bank or financial advisor. "The biggest advice I can tell you is don't sit on your hands," she said.

They'll likely ask how you've been impacted to find a new solution.

"I think you'll be more pleasantly surprised if you do call and have that conversation," said Mindak.

From loan forgiveness to payment deferments and even packages being passed on the national level, resources are out there.

Tom Lally

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