Unemployment claims in Washington remain at record levels despite decrease from previous week

Unemployment claims in Washington remain at record levels despite decrease from previous week
(David McNew/Getty Images)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Unemployment in Washington state remains at record levels despite a decrease in initial claims for unemployment last week, the Employment Security Department announced Thursday.

Officials said there were 28,393 initial regular unemployment claims from June 28 to July 4, which is down 11% from the week before.

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During the same time, there were 736,151 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories, up 5.7% from the week before.

The initial regular claim applications are at 416% above last year’s number of weekly new claim applications.

Officials said $470.9 million for 404,475 individual claims was paid out over the past week. That’s a decrease of $33.9 million and 5,177 fewer individual claims compared to the week before.

“Although the number of initial claims has dropped significantly since the height of the crisis, and even dipped since last week’s figures, our current ‘steady state’ of initial claims is about 89% higher than the peak of the Great Recession,” ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine said in a news release.

According to the ESD, since March 7 when COVID-19 job losses began:

  • A total of 2,246,216 initial claims have been filed (1,413,078 regular unemployment insurance, 447,232 PUA and 385,906 PEUC).
  • A total of 1,247,284 distinct individuals have filed for unemployment benefits.
  • ESD has paid out over $7.2 billion in benefits.
  • 883,242 individuals who have filed an initial claim have been paid.

“We are committed to helping eligible Washingtonians get unemployment benefits as quickly as possible and supporting both workers and employers as they navigate the changing workforce landscape,” LeVine said.

Click here for a complete breakdown of the unemployment data in Washington.