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.

workers protest unsafe conditions

Back to work in the pandemic

By: - May 29, 2020

The phone calls and emails have been coming in steadily for Jim Schultz since COVID-19 hit Wisconsin. First they came when businesses across the state were told to cease operations — but others, deemed essential, were allowed to continue running and to observe physical distancing to keep people at least six feet apart to avoid […]

male doctor talks to mom and daughter patients in lab with xray

State offers $10M to local health clinics to help cover COVID-19 costs

By: - May 28, 2020

Health clinics serving underserved parts of the state will get $10 million to help cover their costs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) announced Thursday. The funds come from Wisconsin’s allotment from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Recipients include rural and tribal health clinics, […]

DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman

Unemployment delays divide Senate Republicans, Democrats

By: - May 28, 2020

Wisconsin is ramping up the number of people processing claims for unemployment compensation in hopes of knocking down a nagging backlog in the system, but it could be the fall before the state can get completely caught up, the state’s labor secretary said Wednesday. At a state Senate committee hearing, Caleb Frostman, secretary of the […]

COVID-19 cases still rising; communities get CARES funds

By: - May 27, 2020

Wisconsin COVID-19 cases continue to rise, but so does testing, state officials said Wednesday. Meanwhile, Gov. Tony Evers announced $200 million in grants to local governments to deal with costs imposed as a result of the pandemic. The funds come from the state’s allotment under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. […]

State rolls out directory of local businesses online

By: - May 26, 2020

Wisconsin launched a new directory Tuesday listing small businesses that offer online service, as part of the state’s response to the business impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The portal has more than 230 companies included so far and was set up by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) to guide shoppers seeking businesses offering online […]

Welding sparks

Work-Share takes off with federal COVID-19 changes

By: - May 26, 2020

A state program that allows Wisconsin employers to keep more people working during business downturns, with the help of the unemployment compensation system, has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Work-Share program, employers who might otherwise lay off workers to cut expenses during a slowdown can keep some staffers working on part-time schedules. Employees […]

Workers wearing face masks (By cotton bro via Pexels) in front of a fake Mona Lisa wearing a face masks all dressed in white

Worker safety takes center stage in pandemic

By: - May 22, 2020

COVID-19 infections continue to dog workplaces, challenging local and state health officials while sickening employees. In Kenosha, an unconfirmed number of infections among workers at Amazon’s two facilities located northwest of the city’s downtown have vexed the county health agency. And on Thursday, a coalition of advocacy groups urged Wisconsin lawmakers to adopt a series […]

State announces $100M in aid for nursing homes, other health services

By: - May 21, 2020

Nursing homes, home health and community health services and emergency medical services will share in $100 million in federal aid tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday. The funds are the latest announced from Wisconsin’s allotment under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The money is intended to […]

Wisconsin farm cornfield and landscape -- Image by David Mark free use from Pixabay

CARES funding announcements show governor is moving on

By: - May 21, 2020

Putting aside a legislative impasse over reconfiguring the state’s defunct Safer at Home order, Gov. Tony Evers this week has been rolling out a series of initiatives to aid sectors of the state economy damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday afternoon, the governor’s office announced $50 million in direct payments to Wisconsin farmers and […]

Urban apartment building

Strapped renters get state help from COVID-19 funds

By: - May 20, 2020

In the latest distribution of Wisconsin’s share of federal COVID-19 relief aid, low-income Wisconsin renters who have lost income because of the pandemic will get financial help to pay back rent, security deposits, and related assistance. Gov. Tony Evers announced the $25 million Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, funded from the state’s allotment under the Coronavirus […]


Evers announces $1B COVID-19 response; OCI tells insurers tests are free

By: - May 19, 2020

Wisconsin is putting more than $1 billion in federal funds into testing for COVID-19 infections, contact tracing to track the spread of the disease, and other measures to respond to the pandemic, Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday. The $1.17 billion investment comes from Wisconsin’s share of the funds spent by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, […]

Hundred-dollar bills

State unveils grants for small businesses affected by COVID-19

By: - May 19, 2020

After 19 years of growth, including an expansion that grew their workforce to about 50 people, LuLu Café & Bar in Milwaukee hit a wall when COVID-19 came to Wisconsin. “We were open seven days a week for lunch and dinner,” says Cameryne Roberts, who co-owns the establishment with Sarah Jonas. “Since the whole shutdown, […]