Washington sees dip in new and continued unemployment claims


Initial claims are still 128% above those seen this time last year.

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

From October 18 through 24, the ESD received 14,198 initial regular unemployment claims, which is a 15.9% drop from the prior week. The ESD saw 475,44 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories, down 3.2% from the previous week.

According to the ESD, all Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) claims also decreased over the week.

Overall, initial claims are still 128% above those seen this time last year.

ESD paid out over $145 million for 307,548 individual claims from Oct. 18-24. The department has distributed over  $11.9 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians since March — when the COVID crisis first began to hit business hard.

The industry with the highest number of claims seen during the week was construction, with 1,756 initial regular claims. That number is down 9% from the previous week. The sector that saw the next highest number of new claims was accommodation and food services with 1,532 initial regular claims, down 11% from the previous week.

The weekly Oregon unemployment numbers have not yet been released. KOIN 6 News will update this story when that new information is available.

A decrease was seen on the national level as well. The number of Americans filing for unemployment fell last week to 751,000, as the U.S. nears its eighth month of the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest figures released by the Labor Department Thursday show that the number of people filing for jobless benefits dropped by 40,000 from the previous week. Last week’s total marks the lowest since March.

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