Initial and continuing unemployment insurance claims declined last week in Washington.

The state Employment Security Department reports all major categories of UI claims declined last week.

During the week of September 20 through September 26, there were 17,734 initial regular unemployment claims (down 9.4 percent from the prior week) and 530,360 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 1.8 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 237 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Initial claims applications for regular Unemployment Insurance, continued claims for regular Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims all decreased over the week.

Washington Research Council economist Kriss Sjoblom examines the data and produces the following 4-week average chart.

Sjoblom writes,

The number of initial claims under the two pandemic programs is a decrease of 1,207 from the number filed during the preceding week.

We estimate that the seasonally adjusted 4-week average of regular initial claims was 27,274 down from 27,756 (revised) the preceding week.

Trends are heading in the right direction, but there’s a lot of ground to reclaim.