OLYMPIA - According to the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD), during the week of October 25 - 31 there were 14,681 initial regular unemployment claims (up 3.4 percent from the prior week) and 465,563 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 2.1 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians. Since the pandemic began in March, ESD has paid more than $12.1 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.
Initial regular claims applications remain at elevated levels and are at 113 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims and continued claims for regular benefits all decreased over the week.
Slight increases in initial claims were primarily in industries where seasonal layoffs are expected this time of year, including agriculture and construction.
In the week ending October 31, ESD paid out over $143 million for 307,351 individual claims.
Below is a thirty-five week summary of statewide initial claims filed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis: