COVID-19 economic data

Covid-19 has had profound effects on the Washington labor market. The first documented case in North America was discovered in Washington state in late January. By early March, businesses and schools began to proactively address the emerging situation with temporary closures and deep cleaning. In mid-March, widespread business closures were put in place, prompting a tidal wave of applications for unemployment insurance.

Because of how rapidly the situation evolved, weekly unemployment insurance reports were some of the only reliable data resources for several weeks. Eventually, other labor market datasets have begun to reflect the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Washington state.

The Employment Security Department, in partnership with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, publishes the following datasets that are helping us to understand the employment effects of the Covid-19 pandemic recession on Washingtonians.

Unemployment insurance claims and benefits data provides weekly and monthly snapshots of the number of new unemployment insurance claims and continued claims, including industry, occupational and demographic detail.

Labor Force (LAUS) details how many people are employed or unemployed (looking for work). This is where you will find the published unemployment rate.

Employment Estimates (WAQB and CES) are monthly reports of employment by industry. Reports are based on a survey of employers throughout Washington.

Monthly Employment Report describes trends in the labor force and industry employment.

Economic and Revenue Forecast Council

Economic forecast
Revenue forecast

Data dashboards:

COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard for safe start Washington

The risk assessment dashboard provides an overview of data used to decide whether it's safe for a county to enter a phase of reopening.

Census COVID-19 impact planning report

The Census COVID-19 impact planning report is a dashboard tool where you can research demographic data and key facts by state and then by county, and uses multiple categories: businesses, poverty, at-risk populations and health insurance coverage.

The tool also reports on a variety of demographics such as households:

  • Below the poverty level
  • Receiving food stamps/SNAP
  • Without a vehicle
  • With a disability

Department of Health COVID-19 data dashboard

The DOH data dashboard for COVID-19 is very informative and provides statistics about COVID-19 infections by county.

Washington State Department of Commerce economic recovery dashboard

This is a unique tool for analyzing and visualizing data from public and private organizations to reliably examine the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s economy. The dashboard details, on regional, demographic and industry sector levels, numerous metrics that could help guide state and local leaders as they chart a path to an equitable, statewide economic recovery.  The Commerce economic recovery dashboard is updated monthly and available to the public.

ESD newsroom

The ESD Newsroom is where you can find more information such as fact sheets, news releases, frequently asked questions, legislative resources, Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and much more.  You will also find more information regarding COVID-19 and agency resources.

Contact and economist

We have one statewide economist and six regional economists serving local labor markets in Washington. All of them can help you find and use labor market data and fulfill special data requests.