Wisconsin Watch, a nonprofit newsroom, is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Sign up for our newsletter for more stories straight to your inbox.
In the first and only gubernatorial debate for the Wisconsin 2022 election, Republican candidate Tim Michels said one of the things he would do to address worker shortages in the state is “get people off their couches.”
“We created an entire class of lazy people during COVID,” Michels said.
Michels claimed pandemic-related aid such as stimulus checks, along with boosted unemployment payments, led people to not work. However, he recognized that assistance — initially $600 a week and later $300 a week — ended in September 2021. The last federal government stimulus check was sent out in March 2021.
Wisconsin unemployment rates peaked in March 2020 when COVID-19 hit. In March 2021, unemployment in the state sat at 3.8%. In 2022, the unemployment rate has hovered around 3% for the past several months — similar to pre-pandemic unemployment rates.
Wisconsin Public Radio: Tony Evers, Tim Michels lay out differences in only debate of Wisconsin governor’s race
Channel 3000 / News 3 Now: WATCH: Full debate between Gov. Tony Evers, Tim Michels
USA.gov: Advance Child Tax Credit and Economic Impact Payments – Stimulus Checks
State of Wisconsin: Wisconsin Labor Force Summary | Not Seasonally Adjusted
State of Wisconsin: Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance
State of Wisconsin: BLS Data: Wisconsin Job Gains Continue; August Unemployment Rate at 3.1%