Nearly 32,000 regular initial unemployment insurance claims in Washington last week, an increase from previous week.

The Employment Security Department reports an increase in unemployment claims filed last week.

During the week of June 21 through June 27, there were 31,911 initial regular unemployment claims (up 7.8% from the prior week) and 696,272 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 3.1% from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  

Here’s the ESC table showing the claims filings.


Unemployment claim type

Week of

June 21-June 27

Week of

June 14-June 20

Week of

June 7-June 13

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims




Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims




Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims




Continued/ongoing weekly claims




Total claims




Again, the hospitality sector is hard hut, followed by health care and social services and manufacturing.

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during June 21- June 27 were:

  • Accommodation and food services: 3,633 initial regular claims, up 221 (+7 percent) from previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 3,545 initial regular claims, up 99 (+3 percent) from the previous week
  • Manufacturing: 3,303 regular initial claims, up 4 (0 percent) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 2,757 initial regular claims, up 396 (+17 percent) from previous week
  • Construction: 2,632 initial regular claims, up 182 (+7 percent) from the previous week

Seattle Times business reporter Paul Roberts wrote Monday that the state may require a federal loan to cover UI benefits. 

Washington state may need to borrow federal funds to cover claims for jobless benefits following a projected shortfall in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, officials said.

The projected deficit, announced Monday by the state Employment Security Department (ESD), reflects both the unprecedented job losses from the pandemic coupled with a new forecast for a slower economic recovery and lingering unemployment in Washington state.

The state’s unemployment trust fund, which had $4.7 billion on March 1, is now at $2.8 billion and is expected to be depleted by late 2020 or early 2021, ESD officials said. It’s the first public indication that the trust fund might not remain solvent without federal help

Nationally, the U.S. Department of Labor reported a decline in initial claims.

In the week ending June 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,427,000, a decrease of 55,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 1,480,000 to 1,482,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,503,750, a decrease of 117,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 1,620,750 to 1,621,250.

The downward slope of DOL graph shows the steady decline in recent weeks, though unemployment remains at an alarmingly high level.

As we noted with respect to the strong June jobs report, much depends one the course of the pandemic in the coming weeks.