14,198 Washingtonians filed initial unemployment claims last week, a 15.9% drop from previous week.

The state Employment Security Department reports another drop in initial weekly unemployment claims.

During the week of October 18 – 24, there were 14,198 initial regular unemployment claims (down 15.9 percent from the prior week) and 475,441 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 3.2 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  

  • Initial regular claims applications remain at elevated levels and are at 128 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Initial regular initial claims, regular continued claims, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims all decreased over the week.

Nationally, claims declined as well.

Washington Research Council economist Kriss Sjoblom analyzes the data.

We estimate that the seasonally adjusted 4-week average of regular initial claims was 20,853, down from 23,032 (revised) the preceding week. Seasonally adjusted regular claims remain above the peak reached during the Great Recession.

The trend is in the right direction, but very slow, and, as Sjoblom rights, still well above the peak in the last recession.