9/16/2021

Employment Security Department
#21-057

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Sept. 16, 2021
Email media inquiries:  media@esd.wa.gov

Initial regular claims and total claims for all benefits decreased during the week of Sept. 5

OLYMPIA – During the week of Sept. 5, there were 4,860 initial regular unemployment claims, down 6.6 percent from the prior week. Total claims filed by Washingtonians for all unemployment benefit categories numbered 245,345, down 4.8 percent from the prior week.  

  • Initial regular claims applications are 74 percent below weekly new claims applications for the same period last year during the pandemic.
  • The 4-week moving average for regular initial claims was 5,124, a decrease of 167 from the previous week’s 4-week moving average. During the same time in 2019, it was 5,012.
  • Decreases in layoffs in construction and health care & social assistance contributed to a decrease of 345 regular initial claims over the previous week.
  • There was a decrease in the combined total of initial claims and continued or ongoing claims for all benefits—which include regular unemployment insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
  • Federal pandemic benefits programs, including PUA and PEUC as well as the additional $300 per week, expired the week ending Sept. 4, 2021. Learn more at esd.wa.gov/covid-19.

In the week ending Sept. 11, ESD paid out over $151 million for 180,372 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March 2020, ESD has paid more than $21.3 billion in benefits to over 1.19 million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim type

September 5- September 11

August 29- September 4

August 22-28

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims

4,860

5,205

5,073

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims

1,223

1,417

1,503

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims

557

1,503

617

Continued or ongoing weekly claims

238,705

250,510

265,652

Total claims

245,345

257,702

272,845

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

Below is a eighty 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, Sept. 23, 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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