Initial & Continued Unemployment Claims Decreased 10/18 to 10/24

During the week of October 18 – 24, there were 14,198 initial regular unemployment claims (down 15.9 percent from the prior week) and 475,441 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 3.2 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 128 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Initial regular initial claims, regular continued claims, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims all decreased over the week.

In the week ending October 24, ESD paid out over $145 million for 307,548 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $11.9 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of October 18-October 24Week of October 11-October 17Week of October 4-October 10
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims14,19816,89022,324
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims3,6033,6793,900
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims6,9948,0918,736
Continued/ongoing weekly claims450,646462,581441,865
Total claims475,441491,241476,735

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 website

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

34 week claims table October 18 - 24
Statewide initial regular claims line chart
Statewide total claims line chart October 18 - 24

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during October 18- 24 were:

  • Construction: 1,756 initial regular claims, down 170 (-9 percent) from the previous week
  • Accommodation and food services: 1,532 initial regular claims, down 186 (-11 percent) from previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 1,207 initial regular claims, down 124 (-9 percent) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 1,135 regular initial claims, down 89 (-7 percent) from the previous week
  • Manufacturing: 989 initial regular claims, down 360 (-27 percent) from previous week

By occupation

  • Construction and extraction occupations:  2,011 regular initial claims, down 171 (-8 percent) from the previous week
  • Management occupations:  1,641 regular initial claims, down 253 (-13 percent) from the previous week
  • Food preparation and serving: 1,563 regular initial claims, down 169 (-10 percent) from previous week
  • Office and administrative support occupations:  1,174 regular initial claims, down 173 (-13 percent) from the previous week
  • Transportation and material moving occupations:  1,064 regular initial claims, down 351 (-25 percent) from previous week

By county

King County, the most populous county in the state, saw initial regular claims decrease from 4,367 to 3,552 during the week of October 18- October 24, down 19 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 2,200 to 1,755 down 20 percent from the week before.
  • Snohomish County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 1,725 to 1,558 down 10 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 962 to 908 down 6 percent from the week before.
  • Clark County: Initial regular claims filed decreased from 805 to 656 down 19 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 18 – 24Week of October 11 – October 17During height of the recession
Employers with an approved SharedWork plan3,716 employers covering 154,606 employees3,700 employers covering 154,000 employees2,500 employers covering approximately 46,000 employees
Individuals who filed weekly claims for the SharedWork program  44,613    47,556   46,000

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