Initial Unemployment Claim Decreased, Continued Claims Increased 10/11 to 10/17

During the week of October 11 – 17, there were 16,890 initial regular unemployment claims (down 24.3 percent from the prior week) and 491,241 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (up 3.0 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 172 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Initial regular initial claims, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims all decreased while continued claims increased over the week.

In the week ending October 17, ESD paid out over $149 million for 310,901 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $11.8 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of October 11-October 17Week of October 4-October 10Week of September 27-October 3
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims16,89022,32415,496
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims3,6793,9004,151
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims8,0918,7369,211
Continued/ongoing weekly claims462,581441,865477,850
Total claims491,241476,735506,708

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

Note: Detailed claims data and charts by county, industry and occupation will be included in this release on a monthly basis. You can find detailed claims data anytime on the ESD websitehttps://esd.wa.gov/labormarketinfo/unemployment-insurance-data

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

Claims table Oct. 11 - 17
Statewide initial claims line chart  Oct. 11 - 17
Statewide total claims line chart  Oct. 11 - 17

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during October 11- October 17 were:

  • Construction: 1,926 initial regular claims, up 250 (+15 percent) from the previous week
  • Accommodation and food services: 1,718 initial regular claims, down 516 (-23 percent) from previous week
  • Manufacturing: 1,349 initial regular claims, down 338 (-20 percent) from previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 1,331 initial regular claims, down 201 (-13 percent) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 1,224 regular initial claims, down 425 (-26 percent) from the previous week

By occupation

  • Construction and extraction occupations:  2,182 regular initial claims, up 77 (+4 percent) from the previous week
  • Management occupations:  1,894 regular initial claims, down 620 (-25 percent) from the previous week
  • Food preparation and serving: 1,732 regular initial claims, down 631 (-27 percent) from previous week
  • Transportation and material moving occupations:  1,415 regular initial claims, down 494 (-26 percent) from previous week
  • Office and administrative support occupations:  1,347 regular initial claims, down 433 (-24 percent) from the previous week

By county

King County, the most populous county in the state, saw initial regular claims decrease from 5,982 to 4,367 during the week of October 11- October 17, down 27 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 2,704 to 2,200 down 19 percent from the week before.
  • Snohomish County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 2,528 to 1,725 down 32 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,375 to 962 down 30 percent from the week before.
  • Clark County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,106 to 805 down 27 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 October 11 – 17Week of October 4 – 10During height of the recession
Employers with an approved SharedWork plan3,700 employers covering 154,000 employees3,692 employers covering 153,763 employees2,500 employers covering approximately 46,000 employees
Individuals who filed weekly claims for the SharedWork program  47,556    48,017   46,000