Better News: Another slight drop in initial UI benefit claims in Washington last week; and state employment grew in July.

The latest employment news in Washington continues to get a bit better. The Employment Security Department reports a decline in initial UI claims last week.

During the week of August 9 through August 15, there were 21,942 initial regular unemployment claims (down 0.9 percent from the prior week) and 589,631 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 3.7 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 338 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Regular Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims as well as continuing claims all decreased over the previous week while Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims increased by 4.0 percent.

Here’s the table.

Yesterday, ESD released its monthly employment report, which also showed continued improvement on the jobs front. 

Washington’s economy added 44,500 jobs in July and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for July rose slightly from 10.0 percent to 10.3 percent according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

Washington Research Council economist Kriss Sjoblom writes,

This estimate is based on BLS’s monthly survey of employers, which counts as employed all persons who received pay for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th day of the month. The estimate of May to June job growth was revised up to 140,600 from the 71,500 that was originally reported.

BLS estimates that the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett metro area (King and Snohomish counties, which account for a bit more than one-half of all jobs in the state) gained 21,800 jobs (SA) from June to July, while the rest of the state gained 22,700 (SA).

BLS estimates the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state for July to be 10.3 percent, up from 10.0 percent (revised) in June.

Better. The trend continues in the right direction, but too slowly. From the ESD release.

“Although payroll job growth continued in July, the pace at which the jobs were added slowed,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Over the last three months, nearly half of the jobs lost during the pandemic have come back, but there remains a long way to go.”

Right. More detailed information by sector here.