3/20/2020

New unemployment insurance claims for week of March 8 – 14, 2020

Employment Security Department
20-009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 20, 2020

 

CONTACTS

Communications: Bretta Beveridge  bbeveridge@esd.wa.gov

Unemployment insurance initial claims increased over 116 percent during week of March 8-14

OLYMPIA – During the week of March 8-14, 2020 14,154 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed with the Employment Security Department (ESD) which was an increase of 7,606 new claims over the previous week. In King County the number of new initial claims filed increased from 1,837 to 5,834 over the same period.

New unemployment insurance claims are just beginning to rise due to COVID-19 related layoffs
In Washington state, the highest percentage of new claims filed during March 8-14 (week 10) over the previous week occurred in the accommodation and food services sector, up 597.3 percent; educational services, up 569.5 percent; arts, entertainment and recreation, up 255.8 percent; and real estate, rental and leasing, up 147.5 percent. Individuals 34 years of age and younger represented the largest group of workers filing new claims.

“A dramatically larger number of employers are announcing coronavirus-related layoffs or are utilizing SharedWork, so we anticipate substantially higher numbers of new claims in the report that will come out on March 26,” said ESD Commissioner, Suzi LeVine. “Already this week, we have seen the daily rate of new claims coming in at levels that are similar to the highest weeks of the 2008-2009 recession. Our agency is working in close coordination with the Governor’s office as well as other state and federal agencies to ensure we do everything we can to address this crisis and find every support possible for Washington’s families and economy. Our priorities are to get benefits out more quickly to those who are eligible, help more people become eligible for benefits and help those employers who are hiring get the staff they need right now.”

Gov. Jay Inslee also announced a number of measures on Wednesday to provide relief for businesses, workers and renters.

Industry

Week 9

Week 10

Change

% Change

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting

349

356

7

2.0%

Mining

7

12

5

71.4%

Utilities

11

18

7

63.6%

Construction

1763

1979

216

12.3%

Manufacturing

763

989

226

29.6%

Wholesale trade

268

347

79

29.5%

Retail Trade

458

675

217

47.4%

Transportation & warehousing

321

569

248

77.3%

Information

119

199

80

67.2%

Finance and insurance

105

105

0

0.0%

Real estate, rental and leasing

99

245

146

147.5%

Professional, scientific, and technical services

333

409

76

22.8%

Management of companies and enterprises

14

11

-3

-21.4%

Administrative and waste management services

547

864

317

58.0%

Educational services

82

549

467

569.5%

Healthcare and social assistance

453

858

405

89.4%

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

86

306

220

255.8%

Accommodation and food services

523

3647

3124

597.3%

Other services

151

324

173

114.6%

Public administration

86

125

39

45.3%


For more information by county and by industry sector for the year to date, check the weekly unemployment initial claims charts compiled by ESD’s Labor Market & Economic Analysis division.

NOTE: Starting March 26 and for the foreseeable future, ESD will send out weekly press release updates on new unemployment claims every Thursday at 10:00a.m. Pacific time.

Labor market information questions regarding COVID-19 
For workers or businesses affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Employment Security Department (ESD) has programs that may be able to help. Please see ESD’s website for more information

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