Unemployment claims fall in Washington state and nationally.

The Washington State Employment Security Department reports another drop in weekly regular unemployment insurance claims filings. 

During the week of February 28 – March 6, there were 11,760 initial regular unemployment claims (down 9.2 percent from the prior week) and 453,503 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 1.3 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 79 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Decreases in layoffs in Construction led the overall decrease in regular initial claims last week. Regular initial claims in the Construction sector decreased by 686 initial claims over the week to 1,755 total regular initial claims.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims increased slightly over the week.

The table below shows the three-week pattern.

Nationally, claims also fell. The Department of Labor reports

In the week ending March 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 712,000, a decrease of 42,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 9,000 from 745,000 to 754,000. The 4-week moving average was 759,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,250 from 790,750 to 793,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending February 27, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised up by 0.1 from 3. to 3.1 percent.

The Associated Press writes,

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 712,000, the lowest total since early November, evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs amid a decline in confirmed coronavirus cases and signs of an improving economy.

In February, U.S. employers added a robust 379,000 jobs, the most since October, reflecting an economy in which consumers are spending more and states and cities are easing business restrictions.

Also, job openings are up and layoffs are down.

Companies posted more open jobs in January while layoffs decreased as the economy heals slowly from the pandemic.

There were 6.9 million jobs available on the last day in January, up from 6.7 million in December, the Labor Department said Thursday. That suggests employers are getting ready to hire in the coming months.

Good news.