Claims for Unemployment Continue to Decrease

During the week of June 7 through June 13, there were 29,028 initial regular unemployment claims (down 2.3% from the prior week) and 695,532 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (a decrease of 34,061) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  ESD believes the continued decrease is due to a variety of reasons including fraud prevention measures and more people going back to work with the reopening of some industry sectors and regions over the past three weeks.

In Mason County last week (June 7, 2020 to June 13, 2020), there were 193 new claims for unemployment. That’s down from 240 the week before (May 31, 2020 to June 6, 2020).

ESD paid out over $454.7 million for 399,879 individual claims.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of June 7-June 13Week of May 31-June 6Week of May 24-30
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims29,02829,17331,224
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims9,34610,56912,878
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims7,6509,19510,176
Continued/ongoing weekly claims649,508680,116720,681
Total claims695,532729,053774,959

Since the week ending March 7 when COVID-19 job losses began:

  • A total of 2,112,219 initial claims have been filed during the pandemic (1,320,239 regular unemployment insurance, 424,431 PUA and 367,549 PEUC)
  • A total of 1,180,748 distinct individuals have filed for unemployment benefits
  • ESD has paid out over $5.4 billion in benefits
  • 856,428 individuals who have filed an initial claim have been paid

“The total number of claims remains historically high, but we are seeing a continued decline in initial claims week over week as the economy reopens,” said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine. “As it has been from the outset, our priorities throughout this crisis have been to get benefits as quickly as possible to those who are eligible, and to increase the number of people who are eligible for benefits. We’ll continue to stay focused on these goals even as we navigate the reopening of the economy, and support Washingtonians as they get safely back to work.”

Below is a fifteen-week summary of statewide initial claims filed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis:

15 week claims table June 7 - 13
15 week initial claims line chart  June 7 - 13
Statewide total claims line chart June 7-13

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during June 7- June 13 were:

  • Manufacturing: 3,671 regular initial claims, up 1,341 (+58 percent) from the previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 3,583 initial regular claims, down 284 (-7 percent) from the previous week
  • Accommodation and food services: 3,240 initial regular claims, up 66 (+2 percent) from previous week
  • Retail trade: 2,411 initial regular claims, down 128 (-5 percent) from previous week
  • Construction: 2,155 initial regular claims, down 207 (-9 percent) from the previous week

By occupation

  • Management occupations:  3,398 regular initial claims, down 323 (-9 percent) from the previous week
  • Food preparation and serving: 3,207 regular initial claims, up 67 (+2 percent) from previous week
  • Office and administrative support:  2,857 regular initial claims, down 70 (-2 percent) from previous week
  • Construction and extraction occupations:  2,449 regular initial claims, down 155 (-6 percent) from the previous week
  • Transportation and material moving occupations: 2,036 regular initial claims, down 248 (-11 percent) from the previous week
  • Production occupations:  2,033 regular initial claims, up 416 (+26 percent) from the previous week

By county

King County, the most populous in the state saw initial regular claims increase from 8,725 to 8,753 during the week of June 7- June 13, up 0.3% percent from the week before.

Other counties with the largest number of initial claims during the week were:

  • Snohomish County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 3,493 to 3,697 up 6 percent from the week before.
  • Pierce County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 3,703 to 3,582 down 3 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,765 to 1,617 down 8 percent from the week before.
  • Clark County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 1,425 to 1,215 down 15 percent from the week before.

Demographic breakdown – complete charts are provided in Appendix A below (This information is asked during the application process).

During the week of June 7- June 13:

  • By gender: 51.1 percent (14,823) of the initial regular claims were filed by males while 48.5 percent (14,074) were filed by females
  • By age group: 26.3 percent (7,643) of initial regular claims were filed by the 25-34 years old age group, followed by 20.0 percent (5,796) by the 35-44 years old age group and 16.6 percent (4,831) by the 45-54 years old age group.
  • By education level: 29.9 percent (8,686) of initial regular claims were filed by individuals with a high school diploma, included GED, followed by 24.2 percent (7,036) with some college and 16.1% (4,681) with a bachelor’s degree.
  • By race/ethnicity: 60.0 percent (17,406) of initial regular claims were filed by Caucasians, followed by 8.4 percent (2,440) filed by Asians, 6.1 percent filed by Black/African Americans (1,762) and 6.1 percent filed by Latino/Hispanics (1,760).
  • By disability status: 2.8 percent (809) of initial regular claims were from individuals identified as having a disability, including 0.7 percent (216) who identified themselves as disabled veterans.
  • By veterans status: 5.1 percent (1,491) of initial regular claims were filed by veterans, including 121 initial regular claims from individuals eligible for veterans benefits due to family relations with a veteran.