Federal programs ended

The CARES Act and other federal programs that expanded and extended unemployment benefits expired the week ending Sept. 4, 2021. Visit the COVID-19 page to learn more

Layoff assistance for employees

The Employment Security Department (ESD) can help employees and employers facing major layoffs or temporary hard times.

The information included here is intended to assist employees and job seekers.  Information for employers can be found on our Layoff assistance for employers page

  • WorkSource - While ESD is no longer the "unemployment office" for Washington state, the department does offer resources to assist unemployed workers.  As a proud partner in the WorkSource system, ESD delivers job-search services through partnership with WorkSource.

  • Standby - Workers who have a probable return-to-work date with a current employer within four weeks (28 days) can request standby approval for up to four weeks. Workers starting a new job with a new employer may also request standby within two weeks of an expected start date.

  • Unemployment benefits - Unemployment benefits are made available through taxes paid by your former employer(s) to partially replace your regular earnings and help you meet expenses while you look for another job. These benefits are intended to assist workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are not based on financial need. While receiving benefits, it’s your responsibility to get back to work as quickly as you can.