Initial & Continued Unemployment Claims Decreased 9/6 to 9/12

During the week of September 6 through September 12, there were 18,403 initial regular unemployment claims (down 8.0 percent from the prior week) and 566,443 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (up 6.6 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 242 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Initial claims applications for regular Unemployment Insurance decreased over the week while Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims all increased over the week.

ESD paid out over $157.3 million for 340,352 individual claims – a decrease of $19.5 million and 16,349 less individuals compared to the prior week.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of September 6-September 12Week of August 30-September 5Week of August 23-August 29
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims18,40320,00618,172
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims7,2864,9434,590
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims11,4747,4056,109
Continued/ongoing weekly claims529,280499,071539,782
Total claims566,443531,425568,653

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

Claims Table Sept. 6-12
Statewide initial claims Sept. 6-12
Statewide total claims Sept. 6-12

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during September 6- September 12 were:

  • Accommodation and food services: 1,892 initial regular claims, down 113 (-6 percent) from previous week
  • Construction: 1,760 initial regular claims, down 30 (-2 percent) from the previous week
  • Educational services: 1,751 initial regular claims, down 850 (-33 percent) from previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 1,613 initial regular claims, down 127 (-7 percent) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 1,533 regular initial claims, up 27 (+2 percent) from the previous week

By occupation

  • Food preparation and serving: 2,026 regular initial claims, down 46 (-2 percent) from previous week
  • Construction and extraction occupations:  2,010 regular initial claims, down 67 (-3 percent) from the previous week
  • Management occupations:  1,980 regular initial claims, down 285 (-13 percent) from the previous week
  • Transportation and material moving occupations:  1,621 regular initial claims, down 391 (-19 percent) from previous week
  • Office and administrative support occupations:  1,603 regular initial claims, down 84 (-5 percent) from the previous week

By county

King County, the most populous county in the state, saw initial regular claims decrease from 5,461 to 4,987 during the week of September 6 – September 12, down 9 percent from the week before.

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

  • Pierce County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 2,509 to 2,291 down 9 percent from the week before.
  • Snohomish County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 2,391 to 2,056 down 14 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,076 to 1,036 down 14 percent from the week before.
  • Clark County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 978 to 891 down 9 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 September 6 – September 12Week of August 30 – September 5During height of the recession
Employers with an approved SharedWork plan3,631 employers covering 151,908 employees3,601 employers covering 150,673 employees2,500 employers covering approximately 46,000 employees
Individuals who filed weekly claims for the SharedWork program  53,534   55,432 46,000