Employment Security Department reports 25,000 Washingtonians filed for unemployment this week.

The state Employment Security Department reports  a decrease in all unemployment claims from the previous week.

During the week of July 26 through August 1, there were 24,985 initial regular unemployment claims (down 13.4% from the prior week) and 656,556 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 3.1% 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 346 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Regular Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims as well as continuing claims all decreased over the previous week.

ESD paid out over $575.5 million for 444,580 individual claims – an increase of $2.2 million and 2,394 more individuals compared to the prior week.

The head of ESD comments on the numbers.

“Getting benefits to all eligible Washingtonians has been, and continues to be, our agency’s top priority,” said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine. “As we turn the page on Operation 100%, more than 81,500 individuals who had applied by mid-June and not received payment now have resolution on their claims. You can see this reflected in this week’s data, as claims went down but dollars out went up.”

Seattle Times business reporter Paul Roberts writes,

Workers in Washington state filed fewer claims for jobless benefits last week, but it’s far from clear whether that’s a blip in the data or the sign of economic recovery…

It’s probably too early to say whether Washington’s dip in claims represents a longer term shift in the state’s job market. Recent layoffs in the airline industry and other industries suggest some sectors may only just now be reaching the point that retailers and other consumer-facing businesses hit months ago.

Nationally, 1.2 million claims were filed.