Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.

Road sign reads Save Lives Now Stay Home #COVID19

Health officials: Wisconsin COVID-19 ‘trend is going in the wrong direction’

By: - July 17, 2020

COVID-19 continues to spread in Wisconsin, and the only way to reverse that will be by redoubling efforts to avoid large gatherings and to follow strict hygiene practices, state health officials said Thursday. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) reported 900 confirmed new cases of the illness caused by the virus on Thursday, and […]

"Unemployment" by Philippe Lhote picturing a mural of headless workers in uniform on the wall of an abandoned factory in Völklingen, Germany

Payment errors add to challenges for state’s beleaguered unemployment system

By: - July 15, 2020

Faced with record numbers of claims and payouts and complaints of long-delayed decisions on whether some applicants qualified, the state unemployment compensation system overpaid some claims in late April while possibly underpaying others, according to a Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau report issued Wednesday. The payment mistakes took place over a two- to three-day period April […]

Group of young children in a classroom

The COVID-19 childcare chasm

By: - July 15, 2020

In ordinary times, navigating childcare has been a challenge for working families for decades. COVID-19 has increased the difficulty seismically, sending shockwaves not just through households, but businesses, communities and providers alike. Last week the Wisconsin Policy Forum reported that as of May, nearly 40% of childcare providers in the state had closed as a […]

health insurance form and stethoscope

COVID-19 job losses cut millions loose from health insurance; millions more will follow

By: - July 14, 2020

By the end of 2020, 10.1 million people in the U.S. will probably lose health insurance because they or their family members have lost work due to COVID-19, a new report released Monday forecasts — and more than 1 in 3 of them will be unable to find a replacement policy. The findings are tied […]

An array of face masks for COVID-19

Milwaukee becomes state’s largest city with mandate for masks to prevent COVID-19 spread

By: - July 13, 2020

A citywide ordinance requiring people in public places to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 passed the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously Monday afternoon, with the support of business groups in the city while a statewide business lobby registered objections. The ordinance requires anyone 3 years old or older in the city to […]

With COVID-19, advocate urges a new look at transitional jobs programs

By: - July 13, 2020

Just a few months ago, employers across Wisconsin and the nation were complaining about widespread shortages of people to do the jobs they were offering. Today, that’s been turned on its head: with unemployment at 12%, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, a jobs shortage has taken the place of the labor shortage that was the […]

chldren playing

Report describes COVID-19’s impact on child care providers

By: - July 9, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained health care and crashed the economy. A report Thursday outlined another major casualty: child care providers. Statewide, as of mid-May, two out of five licensed childcare providers in the state had closed due to disruptions caused by the pandemic, states the report, produced by the Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF) drawing […]

Store selling face masks

State to implement mask rule for executive branch employees

By: - July 9, 2020

State employees will be required to wear face masks on the job in state facilities or on state business in other enclosed buildings outside their homes starting Monday, July 13, according to an updated memo from the state’s Department of Personnel Management. “The decision to require face masks was made in response to the increases […]


Assembly GOP pitches loans as unemployment backlog relief

By: - July 9, 2020

At a news conference outside the west entrance of the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, Assembly Republicans renewed their attacks on Gov. Tony Evers and the Department of Workforce Development for the state’s continued COVID-19 induced backlog of unemployment claims — then offered free advice on fixing it. Their proposal: Lend people whose applications have been […]

Gov. Tony Evers with mask

COVID-19 is surging. Evers says state can offer help — but no new orders.

By: - July 8, 2020

The COVID-19 death toll is slowing down, but the infection is spreading in Wisconsin at the fastest rate in months. And Gov. Tony Evers said Tuesday that while the state is providing resources to combat it, the most direct tools are in the hands of Wisconsin residents, acting voluntarily. “Folks, we cannot let this trend […]

budget cut money Photo by Images Money | Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Evers favors aid for states pinched for funds by COVID-19

By: - July 8, 2020

Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday said he would support federal legislation to help states make up for revenues lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last several months. “Clearly, revenue shortage is a major issue for us here in our state, but also every state in the union,” Evers told the Wisconsin […]

Dollar bills money being pulled away with a fishing hook

Lawmakers who nixed aid for state government got help for their own businesses

By: - July 6, 2020

In early May, 43 state lawmakers sent a letter to the Wisconsin congressional delegation with an emphatic message: Don’t provide financial relief to state governments. The legislators, all Republicans, characterized the act of helping state governments offset revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic as “funding bailouts for irresponsible states across the country, like Illinois, New […]