Another weekly uptick in initial UI claims in Washington, continuing claims still trending downward.

Last week, 5,420 Washingtonians filed for unemployment, according to the state Employment Security Department. That’s up 10.2% from the prior week.

During the week of August 1 to 7, there were 5,420 initial regular unemployment claims, up 10.2 percent from the prior week. Total claims filed by Washingtonians for all unemployment benefit categories numbered 306,858, down 0.5 percent from the prior week.  

  • Initial regular claims applications are now 75 percent below weekly new claims applications for the same period last year during the pandemic.
  • The 4-week moving average for initial claims is 4,989. During the same time in 2019, it was 5,266. This is the lowest level of initial claims for regular benefits since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, and the ninth consecutive week the four-week moving average for initial claims has reached a new pandemic low.
  • Layoffs in health care and social assistance and construction contributed to an increase of 501 regular initial claims over the previous week.
  • There was a decrease in the combined total of initial claims andcontinued or ongoing claims for all benefits—which include regular unemployment insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
  • Federal pandemic benefits programs, including PUA and PEUC as well as the additional $300 per week, are set to expire the week ending Sept. 4, 2021. Learn more at

Overall, things are moving in the right direction.