All Unemployment Claims Decreased from Previous Week

During the week of August 2 through August 8, there were 22,140 initial regular unemployment claims (down 11.4% from the prior week) and 571,410 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 13.0% from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  

  • Initial regular claims applications remain at elevated levels and are at 307 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Regular Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims as well as continuing claims all decreased over the previous week.

ESD paid out over $273.8 million for 391,025 individual claims – a decrease of $301.3 million and 53,583 less individuals compared to the prior week.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of August 2-August 8Week of July 26-August 1Week of July 19-July 25
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims22,14024,98528,840
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims4,5404,6136,133
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims6,3016,6957,031
Continued/ongoing weekly claims538,429620,263635,351
Total claims571,410656,556677,355

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

  • A total of 2,338,445 initial claims have been filed during the pandemic (1,475,571 regular unemployment insurance, 461,251 PUA and 401,251 PEUC)
  • A total of 1,295,080 distinct individuals have filed for unemployment benefits
  • ESD has paid out over $9.5 billion in benefits
  • 996,048 individuals who have filed an initial claim have been paid

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

23 week Claims Table August 2-8
23 week initial claims line chart August 2-8
Statewide total claims line chart August 2-8

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during August 2- August 8 were:

  • Manufacturing: 2,866 regular initial claims, up 848 (42 percent) from the previous week
  • Accommodation and food services: 2,235 initial regular claims, down 628 (-22 percent) from previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 1,922 initial regular claims, down 452 (-19 percent) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 1,759 initial regular claims, down 290 (-14 percent) from previous week
  • Construction: 1,751 initial regular claims, down 234 (-12 percent) from the previous week 

By occupation

  • Management occupations:  2,312 regular initial claims, down 497 (-18 percent) from the previous week
  • Food preparation and serving: 2,302 regular initial claims, down 552 (-19 percent) from previous week
  • Construction and extraction occupations:  1,996 regular initial claims, down 316 (-14 percent) from the previous week
  • Office and administrative support:  1,817 regular initial claims, down 382 (-17 percent) from previous week
  • Production occupations:  1,730 regular initial claims, up 229 (+15 percent) from the previous week

By county

King County, the most populous county in the state, saw initial regular claims decrease from 6,676 to 6,002 during the week of August 2 – August 8, down 10 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 2,899 to 3,040 up 5 percent from the week before.
  • Pierce County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 3,127 to 2,771 down 11 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,599 to 1,283 down 20 percent from the week before.
  • Yakima County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,068 to 1,005 down 6 percent from the week before.

SharedWork

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

 Week of August 2 August 8Week of July 26 – August 1During height of the recession
Employers with an approved SharedWork plan3,492 employers covering 154,030 employees3,451 employers covering 152,668 employees2,500 employers covering approximately 46,000 employees
Individuals who filed weekly claims for the SharedWork program  55,905   66,712 46,000