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.

DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman

Disabled, jobless and waiting for unemployment compensation

By: - July 25, 2020

Karen Smith was receiving Social Security disability payments and working part-time as a grocery clerk when the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading in Wisconsin. Smith, who is 59, has arthritis and a lung disease, is a recovering cancer patient and also has an autoimmune disorder. She asked her doctor what she should do. “My doctor told […]

PSC halts plan to let power companies disconnect customers behind on their bills

By: - July 24, 2020

A month and a half after announcing it would let utility companies go back to cutting off service to people behind on their bills starting this weekend, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) voted 2-1 Thursday to reverse that decision. Instead, the PSC extended a moratorium on disconnections that was first imposed March 24 until […]

Gov. Tony Evers with mask

Evers ‘considering’ state mask order, but wary that Supreme Court would undermine it

By: - July 24, 2020

Once again imploring Wisconsin to return to the restraint it showed during the Safer at Home order in late March through early May, Gov. Tony Evers stressed Thursday the importance of wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and said he’d like to be able to institute a statewide mask order. A statewide […]

State officials to begin review of Foxconn jobs report

By: - July 23, 2020

Foxconn — and Wisconsin — are another step closer to learning whether the Taiwan-based company will qualify for a portion of the $3 billion in state tax credits that were part of the deal signed three years ago to bring the electronics manufacturer to Racine County. A formal audit of the company’s 2019 jobs report […]

Working Wisconsin faces new challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic

By: - July 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic imposed significant new hardships on American workers — and it’s exposed just how much hardship many of them have been enduring for years. That’s a central conclusion of  a report published today, the 2020 edition of the State of Working Wisconsin. The report is published by COWS — formerly the Center on […]

Health workers kneel for Black Lives

Madison, Milwaukee groups join in observing Strike for Black Lives

By: - July 20, 2020

Hospital workers knelt in silence in Madison and fast food workers walked out in Milwaukee as a coalition of unions and community activists marked the Strike for Black Lives across the country on Monday. Actions were planned in more than 25 cities, organizers said, with participants including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Amalgamated […]

The national flag of USA sticking in a pile of american dollars

What will the next coronarvirus aid package look like?

By: - July 20, 2020

Elizabeth Carey was working part-time at the Eau Claire coffeeshop her husband managed when Wisconsin’s COVID-19 emergency health order went through, shutting down bars, restaurants and many other businesses. Both of them lost their jobs, but the federal $1,200 stimulus check and $600-a-week supplemental unemployment pay allowed them to hang on — so far. “It […]

NY Public Library-unemployment line

Democrats call for unemployment restriction rollback to ease backlog

By: - July 17, 2020

With unemployment claims on hold for more state residents than live in all but two of Wisconsin’s cities, Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature unveiled a package of proposed bills on Thursday to overhaul the system. The Democratic bills would largely remove measures that Republicans put in place over the last decade that make it harder […]

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 […]