Washington sees slight decline in unemployment claims


Regular unemployment claims saw a 13.4% decrease for July 26-August 1

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington saw a decline in unemployment claims filed from the previous week, according to the Employment Security Department.

During the week of July 26 through August 1, the ESD reported 24,985 initial regular unemployment claims, which represents a decrease of 13.4% from the week prior. There were 656,556 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories, which is down 3.1% from the previous week. A total of 2,333,456 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.

Over $575.5 million was paid out for 444,580 claims – which the ESD says is an increase of $2.2 million for 2,394 more individuals compared to the week of July 19-25. Overall, ESD has paid out over $9.2 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. National unemployment also saw a decrease, with nearly 1.2 million new claims filed.

The Labor Department’s report Thursday marked the 20th straight week that at least 1 million people have sought jobless aid. Before the pandemic hit hard in March, the number of Americans seeking unemployment checks had never surpassed 700,000 in a week, not even during the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

The new jobless claims were down by 249,000 from the previous week after rising for two straight weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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