Initial Unemployment Claims Increased, Continued Claims Decreased 8/30 to 9/5

During the week of August 30 through September 5, there were 20,006 initial regular unemployment claims (up 10.1 percent from the prior week) and 531,425 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 6.5 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 299 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Regular continuing claims decreased over the previous week while initial claims applications for Regular Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) all increased over the week.

ESD paid out over $177.7 million for 356,680 individual claims – a decrease of $1.2 million and 609 less individuals compared to the prior week.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of August 30-September 5Week of August 23-August 29Week of August 16-August 22
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims20,00618,17218,389
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims4,9434,5904,256
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims7,4056,1096,011
Continued/ongoing weekly claims499,071539,782540,225
Total claims531,425568,653568,881

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-seven week summary of statewide initial claims filed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis:

Week 27 claims table August 30 - Sept. 5
Statewide initial regular claims line chart August 30 - Sept. 5
Statewide total claims line chart August 30 - Sept. 5

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during August 30- September 5 were:

  • Educational services: 2,601 initial regular claims, up 932 (+56 percent) from previous week
  • Accommodation and food services: 2,005 initial regular claims, up 40 (+2 percent) from previous week
  • Construction: 1,790 initial regular claims, up 160 (+10 percent) from the previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 1,740 initial regular claims, up 63 (+4 percent) from the previous week
  • Manufacturing: 1,681 regular initial claims, up 307 (+22 percent) from the previous week

By occupation

  • Management occupations:  2,265 regular initial claims, up 242 (+12 percent) from the previous week
  • Construction and extraction occupations:  2,077 regular initial claims, up 157 (+8 percent) from the previous week
  • Food preparation and serving: 2,072 regular initial claims, down 46 (-2 percent) from previous week
  • Transportation and material moving occupations:  2,012 regular initial claims, up 462 (+30 percent) from previous week
  • Office and administrative support occupations:  1,687 regular initial claims, up 86 (+5 percent) from the previous week

By county

King County, the most populous county in the state, saw initial regular claims increase from 4,763 to 5,461 during the week of August 30 – September 5, up 15 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 2,443 to 2,509 up 3 percent from the week before.
  • Snohomish County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 1,911 to 2,391 up 25 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 1,040 to 1,076 up 3 percent from the week before.
  • Clark County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 867 to 978 up 13 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 30 – September 5Week of August 23 – August 29During height of the recession
Employers with an approved SharedWork plan3,601 employers covering 150,673 employees3,587 employers covering 149,272 employees2,500 employers covering approximately 46,000 employees
Individuals who filed weekly claims for the SharedWork program  55,432   56,023 46,000

Leave a Reply