Initial & Continued Unemployment Claims Decreased 9/27 to 10/3

During the week of September 27 through October 3, there were 15,496 initial regular unemployment claims (down 12.6 percent from the prior week) and 506,708 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 4.5 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 157 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Initial claims applications for regular Unemployment Insurance, continued claims for regular Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims all decreased over the week while Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims increased.

In the week ending October 3, ESD paid out over $162 million for 328,216 individual claims. More than $11.4 billion has been paid in benefits to 1,048,043 individuals since the COVID-19 crisis began in March.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of September 27-October 3Week of September 20-September 26Week of September 13-September 19
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims  15,496  17,734  19,574
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims    4,151    4,439    5,284
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims     9,211      8,894    9,256
Continued/ongoing weekly claims477,850499,293506,039
Total claims506,708530,360540,153

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

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

31 week claims table Sept. 27 - Oct. 3
Statewide initial claims line chart Sept. 27 - Oct. 3
Statewide total claims line chart Sept. 27 - Oct. 3

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during September 27- October 3 were:

  • Accommodation and food services: 1,824 initial regular claims, down 302 (-14 percent) from previous week
  • Construction: 1,644 initial regular claims, down 824 (-33 percent) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 1,297 regular initial claims, down 164 (-11 percent) from the previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 1,293 initial regular claims, down 116 (-8 percent) from the previous week
  • Manufacturing: 1,077 initial regular claims, down 154 (-13 percent) from previous week 

By occupation

  • Food preparation and serving: 1,901 regular initial claims, down 325 (-15 percent) from previous week
  • Management occupations:  1,817 regular initial claims, down 110 (-6 percent) from the previous week
  • Construction and extraction occupations:  1,809 regular initial claims, down 925 (-34 percent) from the previous week
  • Office and administrative support occupations:  1,356 regular initial claims, down 145 (-10 percent) from the previous week
  • Transportation and material moving occupations:  1,222 regular initial claims, down 91 (-9 percent) from previous week

By county

King County, the most populous county in the state, saw initial regular claims decrease from 4,527 to 4,113 during the week of September 27 – October 3, 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 2,151 to 1,869 down 13 percent from the week before.
  • Snohomish County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,881 to 1,662 down 12 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,056 to 854 down 19 percent from the week before.
  • Clark County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,149 to 821 down 29 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 27 – October 3Week of September 20 – September 26During height of the recession
Employers with an approved SharedWork plan3,687 employers covering 154,961 employees3,668 employers covering 154,660 employees2,500 employers covering approximately 46,000 employees
Individuals who filed weekly claims for the SharedWork program  48,950    51,773   46,000
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