All Unemployment Claims Increased 11/29 to 12/5

During the week of November 29 – December 5, there were 24,587 initial regular unemployment claims (up 10.1 percent from the prior week) and 492,533 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (up 7.1 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 145 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Initial regular claims applications, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims and continued/ongoing claims for regular benefits all increased over the week.
  • Increases in regular initial claims over the week occurred across most industry sectors with the largest increases over the week occurring in the Health Care and Social Assistance (+587) and Construction (+561) industry sectors. Increases in construction industry claims are expected this time of year. The increases from within the HealthCare and Social Assistance sector came primarily from child day care services, services for the elderly and persons with disabilities, and from general medical and surgical hospitals. 

In the week ending December 5, ESD paid out over $148.8 million for 300,987 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $12.8 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of November 29-December 5Week of November 22-November 28Week of November 15-November 21
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims24,58722,33430,274
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims3,7593,3024,396
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims11,0437,0828,387
Continued/ongoing weekly claims453,144426,963421,827
Total claims492,533459,681464,884

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 the first Thursday of every month. You can find detailed claims data anytime on the ESD website

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

40 week claims table Nov 29 - Dec 5
Statewide initial claims line chart Nov 29 - Dec 5
Statewide total claims line chart Nov 29 - Dec 5