Washington continues to see decline in unemployment claims


22,140 initial unemployment claims were filed from Aug. 2-8

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington saw another week of declining unemployment claims filed from the previous week, according to the Employment Security Department.

The ESD reported a total of 22,140 initial unemployment claims were filed from August 2-8, down from 24,985 claims filed the week before. There were 571,410 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories, which is down 13% from the previous week. A total of 2,338,445 initial claims have been filed since March 7.

The ESD said all Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) saw declines as well.

During the week of Aug. 2-8, $273.8 million was paid out for 391,025 claims – which the ESD says is an decrease of $301.3 million for 53,583 less people compared to the prior week. Overall, ESD has paid out over $9.5 billion in benefits since the first week of March.

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Department of Labor released the latest unemployment numbers across the country. The number of laid-off workers applying for unemployment aid fell below 1 million last week for the first time since the pandemic intensified five months ago.

The Labor Department’s report Thursday said applications fell to 963,000, the second straight drop, from 1.2 million the previous week. The decline suggests that layoffs are slowing, though last week’s figure still exceeds the pre-pandemic record of just under 700,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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