PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington saw a slight decrease in new unemployment claims filed from the previous week, according to the Employment Security Department.
From September 27 through October 3, the ESD received 15,496 initial regular unemployment claims, which is a 12.6% drop from the prior week. The ESD saw 506,708 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories, down 4.5% from the previous week.
According to the ESD, initial claims for regular unemployment insurance, the continued claims for regular unemployment insurance and all Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims also decreased over the week while Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims increased.
Overall, initial claims are still 157% above those seen this time last year.
ESD paid out over $162 million for 328,216 individual claims from Sept. 27 through Oct. 3. Over $11.4 billion has been paid in benefits to 1,048,043 individuals since March — when the COVID crisis began to hit business hard.
The industry with the highest number of claims seen during the week was accommodation and food services, with 1,824 initial regular claims. That number is down 14% from the previous week. The sector that saw the next highest number of new claims was construction, with 1,644 initial regular claims, down 33% from the previous week.
A decrease was seen on the national level as well. About 840,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week as the country entered the seventh month of the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Labor Department released the new figures Thursday, showing a drop of roughly 9,000 filed claims from the previous week.
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