7/15/2021

Employment Security Department
#21-043

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 15, 2021
Email media inquiries:  media@esd.wa.gov

Initial and continued claims for regular benefits decreased during the week of July 4 – July 10

OLYMPIA – During the week of July 4 – July 10, there were 5,488 initial regular unemployment claims (down 7.4 percent from the prior week) and 340,204 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 0.9 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD). 

  • Initial regular claims applications are now 86 percent below weekly new claims applications during the same period last year during the pandemic.
  • The 4-week moving average for initial claims is at 6,615 (as compared to the 4-week moving average of initial claims pre-pandemic of 6,071 initial claims). That level represents the lowest levels of initial claims for regular benefits since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, and the fifth consecutive week initial claims have reached a new pandemic low.
  • Initial claims applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and continued/ongoing claims for all benefits decreased over the week.
  • Initial claims applications for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) increased slightly over the week. 
  • Decreases in layoffs in Educational Services and Construction contributed to the decrease in regular initial claims last week.

In the week ending July 10, ESD paid out over $198 million for 253,888 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March 2020, ESD has paid more than $19.8 billion in benefits to over 1.1 million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim type

Week of

July 4- July 10

Week of

June 27- July 3

Week of

June 20- June 26

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims

5,488

5,924

7,505

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims

1,363

1,905

1,663

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims

465

451

1,233

Continued/ongoing weekly claims

332,888

334,966

358,555

Total claims

340,204

343,246

368,956

Note: You can find detailed claims data anytime on the ESD website

Below is a seventy-one week summary of statewide initial claims filed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis:

For complete information of weekly initial claims by industry sector and county for the year to date, also check the weekly unemployment initial claims charts compiled by ESD’s Labor Market & Economic Analysis division. For more information about specific counties, contact one of ESD’s regional local economists.

ESD will send out the next weekly new claims press release on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

Data disclaimer and definitions

Per U.S. Department of Labor regulations, weekly unemployment claims data is embargoed and not available for release until the Thursday following the claim week. 

Initial claims include individuals who filed first-time claims as well as additional claims filed by individuals as a result of a new unemployment event. Initial claims include claims that are still being reviewed for eligibility. Counts for initial claims are not indicative of the number of claims that will result in monetary compensation.

Continuing claims equal continued weeks claimed including a total of all weeks for which benefits were claimed, even though such benefits were not paid or payment status is uncertain or unknown, e.g., waiting weeks, partial weeks, weeks for which penalties are being served and weeks for which a monetary or nonmonetary issue is pending. 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is an emergency program established by the federal CARES Act that temporarily expands unemployment insurance eligibility to self-employed workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and part-time workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is an emergency program established by the federal CARES Act that extends unemployment insurance for those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits.

Web links

COVID-19 resources

Labor market web links

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