Unemployment Claims Declined August 16-22

During the week of August 23 through August 29, there were 18,172 initial regular unemployment claims (down 1.2 percent from the prior week) and 560,920 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 1.4 percent 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 270 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Regular Unemployment Insurance and continuing claims all decreased over the previous week while Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims as well as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims increased over the week.

ESD paid out over $178.9 million for 357,248 individual claims – a decrease of $3.5 million and 128 more individuals compared to the prior week.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of August 23-August 29Week of August 16-August 22Week of August 9-August 15
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims18,17218,38921,942
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims4,5904,2564,726
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims6,1096,0116,294
Continued/ongoing weekly claims532,049540,225564,512
Total claims560,920568,881597,474

For more information on current claimants and claims processing progress, please go to the benefits data dashboard on the ESD website.

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

26 week claims table August 23 - 26
Statewide initial claims line chart August 23 - 26
Statewide total claims line chart August 23 - 26

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during August 23- August 29 were:

  • Accommodation and food services: 1,965 initial regular claims, down 196 (-9 percent) from previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 1,677 initial regular claims, down 9 (-1 percent) from the previous week
  • Educational services: 1,669 initial regular claims, up 464 (+39 percent) from previous week
  • Construction: 1,630 initial regular claims, down 157 (-9 percent) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 1,534 regular initial claims, up 4 (+0.3 percent) from the previous week

By occupation

  • Food preparation and serving: 2,118 regular initial claims, down 105 (-5 percent) from previous week
  • Management occupations:  2,023 regular initial claims, down 12 (-1 percent) from the previous week
  • Construction and extraction occupations:  1,920 regular initial claims, down 55 (-3 percent) from the previous week
  • Transportation and material moving occupations:  1,550 regular initial claims, up 60 (+4 percent) from previous week
  • Sales as related occupations:  1,167 regular initial claims, down 41 (-3 percent) from the previous week

By county

King County, the most populous county in the state, saw initial regular claims decrease from 4,773 to 4,763 during the week of August 23 – August 29, down 0.2 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 2,388 to 2,443 up 2 percent from the week before.
  • Snohomish County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 2,083 to 1,911 down 8 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,057 to 1,040 down 2 percent from the week before.
  • Clark County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 818 to 867 up 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 23 – August 29Week of August 16 – August 22During height of the recession
Employers with an approved SharedWork plan3,587 employers covering 149,272 employees3,555 employers covering 155,562 employees2,500 employers covering approximately 46,000 employees
Individuals who filed weekly claims for the SharedWork program  56,023    55,435  46,000

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