Initial Claims for Unemployment Decrease

During the week of July 5 through July 11, there were 40,466 initial regular unemployment claims (up 42.5% from the prior week) and 706,309 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 4.1% from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  

  • Initial regular claims applications remain at unprecedented elevated levels and are at 549 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims as well as continued/ongoing claims all decreased over the previous week.

No updated numbers for Mason County are available.

ESD paid out over $490.4 million for 423,697 individual claims – an increase of $19.8 million and 19,223 more individual claims compared to the prior week.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of July 5-July 11Week of June 28-July 4Week of June 21-June 27
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims40,46628,39331,911
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims9,34910,0588,997
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims9,57310,0206,884
Continued/ongoing weekly claims646,921687,680648,480
Total claims706,309736,151696,272

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

  • A total of 2,283,609 initial claims have been filed during the pandemic (1,438,620 regular unemployment insurance, 453,085 PUA and 391,692 PEUC)
  • A total of 1,261,075 distinct individuals have filed for unemployment benefits
  • ESD has paid out over $7.6 billion in benefits
  • 920,153 individuals who have filed an initial claim have been paid

“Over the past several weeks we’ve seen new claims continue to fluctuate as the economy moves with the shifting realities of this pandemic,” said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine. “ESD and our workforce partners are committed to supporting both workers and employers as they navigate the changing workforce landscape. For those looking to return to work, or who cannot yet return due to the crisis, I encourage you to check out the return to work and refusal of work pages on our website for more information, as well as WorkSourceWA.com for information for both job seekers and employers. And for employers looking to avoid layoffs or slowly ramp up re-hiring during this crisis, SharedWork is a great program that can help. You can learn more at esd.wa.gov/SharedWork.”

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

Week 19 claims table July 5-11
Statewide initial claims line chart  July 5-11
Statewide total claims line chart  July 5-11

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during July 5- July 11 were:

  • Accommodation and food services: 4,534 initial regular claims, up 1,445 (+47 percent) from previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 3,385 initial regular claims, up 300 (+10 percent) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 3,023 initial regular claims, up 806 (+36 percent) from previous week
  • Manufacturing: 2,952 regular initial claims, up 330 (+13 percent) from the previous week
  • Construction: 2,726 initial regular claims, up 540 (+25 percent) from the previous week

By occupation

  • Food preparation and serving: 4,783 regular initial claims, up 1,713 (+56 percent) from previous week
  • Management occupations:  4,427 regular initial claims, up 1,006 (+29 percent) from the previous week
  • Construction and extraction occupations:  3,507 regular initial claims, up 940 (+37 percent) from the previous week
  • Office and administrative support:  3,368 regular initial claims, up 745 (+28 percent) from previous week
  • Sales and related occupations:  3,407 regular initial claims, up 1,281 (+73 percent) from the previous week

By county

King County, the most populous in the state saw initial regular claims increased from 7,945 to 11,375 during the week of July 5- July 11, up 43 percent from the week before.

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

  • Pierce County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 3,509 to 5,022 up 43 percent from the week before.
  • Snohomish County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 3,262 to 4,614 up 41 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 1,998 to 2,617 up 32 percent from the week before.
  • Clark County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 1,411 to 1,911 up 35 percent from the week before.

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