Initial & Continued Unemployment claims Decreased 1/3 to 1/9

During the week of January 3-9, there were 27,147 initial regular unemployment claims (down 8.4 percent from the prior week) and 515,561 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 7.5 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 203 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Initial claims for regular unemployment, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and continued/ongoing claims for regular benefits all decreased over the week.
  • Reductions in seasonal layoffs in construction and agriculture drove a decrease in new regular jobless claims last week. Regular initial claims in the construction sector decreased by 1,742 over the week to 3,199 total regular initial claims, while initial claims in the Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector decreased by 422 over the week to 739 initial claims.

In the week ending January 9, ESD paid out over $146.8 million for 310,021 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $13.5 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of January 3- January 9Week of December 27-January 2Week of December 20-December 26
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims27,14729,65119,192
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims5,2205,8183,918
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims9,58042,59514,127
Continued/ongoing weekly claims473,614479,355460,133
Total claims515,561557,419497,370

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

45week Cl ims Table January 3 - 9
Initial claims line chart January 3 - 9
Statewide total line chart January 3 - 9

For complete information of weekly initial claims by industry sector and county for the year to date, also check the weekly unemployment initial claims charts compiled by ESD’s Labor Market & Economic Analysis division. For more information about specific counties, contact one of ESD’s regional local economists.