10/15/2020

Employment Security Department
20-057

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Oct. 15, 2020

CONTACTS

Media inquiries: media@ESD.WA.GOV


Initial regular unemployment increased during week of October 4 – October 10 while continued claims decreased over the week. 

OLYMPIA – During the week of October 4 through October 10, there were 22,324 initial regular unemployment claims (up 44.1 percent from the prior week) and 476,735 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 5.9 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 252 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Continued claims for regular Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims all decreased over the week.
  • The increases in initial regular unemployment claims were primarily in manufacturing and accommodation and food service. Retail and transportation and warehousing also showed increases.

In the week ending October 10, ESD paid out over $153 million for 318,534 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $11.6 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim type

Week of

October 4-October 10

Week of

September 27-October 3

Week of

September 20-September 26

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims

22,324

15,496

17,734

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims

3,900

4,151

4,439

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims

8,736

9,211

8,894

Continued/ongoing weekly claims

441,865

477,850

499,293

Total claims

476,735

506,708

530,360

For more information on current claimants and claims processing progress, please go to the benefits data dashboard on the ESD website. 

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

 

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during October 4- October 10 were:

  • Accommodation and food services: 2,234 initial regular claims, up 410 (+22 percent) from previous week
  • Manufacturing: 1,687 initial regular claims, up 610 (+57 percent) from previous week
  • Construction: 1,676 initial regular claims, up 32 (+2 percent) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 1,649 regular initial claims, up 352 (+27 percent) from the previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 1,532 initial regular claims, up 239 (+18 percent) from the previous week

By occupation

  • Management occupations:  2,514 regular initial claims, up 697 (+38 percent) from the previous week
  • Food preparation and serving: 2,363 regular initial claims, up 462 (+24 percent) from previous week
  • Construction and extraction occupations:  2,105 regular initial claims, up 296 (+16 percent) from the previous week
  • Transportation and material moving occupations:  1,909 regular initial claims, up 687 (+56 percent) from previous week
  • Office and administrative support occupations:  1,780 regular initial claims, up 424 (+31 percent) from the previous week

By county

King County, the most populous county in the state, saw initial regular claims increase from 4,113 to 5,982 during the week of October 4- October 10, up 45 percent from the week before.

Other counties with the largest number of initial claims during the week were:

  • Pierce County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 1,869 to 2,704 up 45 percent from the week before.
  • Snohomish County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 1,662 to 2,528 up 52 percent from the week before.
  • Spokane County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 854 to 1,375 up 61 percent from the week before.
  • Clark County: Initial regular claims filed increased from 821 to 1,106 up 35 percent from the week before.

SharedWork

For employers looking to avoid layoffs or slowly ramp up re-hiring during this crisis, SharedWork is a great program that can help. You can learn more at esd.wa.gov/SharedWork

 

 

Week of October 4 –

October 10

Week of September 27 – October 3

During height of the recession

Employers with an approved SharedWork plan

3,692 employers covering 153,763 employees

3,687 employers covering 154,961 employees

2,500 employers covering approximately 46,000 employees

Individuals who filed weekly claims for the SharedWork program

 

48,017

 

 

48,950

 

 46,000

 

Please see new charts in the Appendix A below.  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.

CHANGES TO THIS WEEKLY RELEASE

This initial claims press release will continue to be published on a weekly basis but the detailed claims data and charts by county, industry and occupation will only be included on a monthly basis.  Detailed claims data will still be available on the ESD website https://esd.wa.gov/labormarketinfo/unemployment-insurance-data

ESD will send out the next weekly new claims press release on Thursday, October 22, 2020 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 in 2020.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is an emergency program established by the federal CARES Act that extends unemployment insurance for an extra 13 weeks to those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits.

COVID-19 resources

Washington state Employment Security Department unemployment insurance information for workers and employers

State of Washington’s coronavirus website

Washington state Department of Health public health resources

Labor market web links

 

Appendix A

Initial regular claims by industry sector

Initial regular claims by county

Initial regular claims by occupation