Initial Claims Increased, Regular Claim Decreased 3/28 to 4/3

During the week of March 28 – April 3, there were 11,863 initial regular unemployment claims (up 3.6 percent from the prior week) and 426,803 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 0.8 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  

  • Initial regular claims applications are now 93 percent below weekly new claims applications during the same period last year at the start of the pandemic.
  • Initial claims remain elevated (as compared to the 4-week moving average of initial claims pre-pandemic of 6,071 initial claims) and remain at similar levels of initial claims filed during the Great Recession.
  • Increases in layoffs in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services as well as Administrative Support Services sectors contributed to the increase in regular initial claims last week.
  • Initial claims applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance (PEUC) as well as continued claims for regular benefits all decreased over the week.

In the week ending April 3, ESD paid out over $250.0 million for 305,707 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March 2020, ESD has paid more than $16.6 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of March 28- April 3Week of March 21- March 27Week of March 14- March 20
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims11,86311,45511,398
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims2,1022,3843,383
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims2,9343,1733,873
Continued/ongoing weekly claims409,904413,065417,021
Total claims426,803430,077435,675

 Note: You can find detailed claims data anytime on the ESD website.  

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


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