State reports nearly 43% increase in unemployment claims over previous week

As coronavirus-related job losses continue, the Washington State Employment Security Department reported Thursday that workers in Washington filed 40,466 new, or initial, claims for unemployment insurance, marking a 42.5% increase over the previous week.

New claims applications remain at unprecedented elevated levels and are at 549% above last year’s weekly new claims applications, the department said.

In Snohomish County, the number of initial regular claims filed increased from 3,262 to 4,614, up 41%t from the week before.

The department paid out over $490.4 million for 423,697 individual claims – an increase of $19.8 million and 19,223 more individual claims compared to the prior week.

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during July 5- July 11 were:

  • Accommodation and food services: 4,534 initial regular claims, up 1,445 (+47%) from previous week
  • Health care and social assistance: 3,385 initial regular claims, up 300 (+10%) from the previous week
  • Retail trade: 3,023 initial regular claims, up 806 (+36%) from previous week
  • Manufacturing: 2,952 regular initial claims, up 330 (+13%) from the previous week
  • Construction: 2,726 initial regular claims, up 540 (+25%) from the previous week

By occupation

  • Food preparation and serving: 4,783 regular initial claims, up 1,713 (+56%) from previous week
  • Management occupations:  4,427 regular initial claims, up 1,006 (+29%) from the previous week
  • Construction and extraction occupations:  3,507 regular initial claims, up 940 (+37%) from the previous week
  • Office and administrative support:  3,368 regular initial claims, up 745 (+28%) from previous week
  • Sales and related occupations:  3,407 regular initial claims, up 1,281 (+73%) from the previous week

Demographic breakdown 

During the week of July 5- July 11:

  • By gender: 50.5% (20,419) of the initial regular claims were filed by females while 49.1 percent (19,868) were filed by males
  • By age group: 26.1% (10,551) of initial regular claims were filed by the 25-34 years old age group, followed by 21.0% (8,490) by the 35-44 years old age group and 17.0% (6,881) by the 45-54 years old age group.
  • By education level: 30.6% (12,366) of initial regular claims were filed by individuals with a high school diploma, included GED, followed by 24.9% (10,065) with some college and 14.6% (5,918) with a bachelor’s degree.
  • By race/ethnicity: 61.1% (24,716) of initial regular claims were filed by Caucasians, followed by 8.3% (3,371) filed by Asians, 6.6% filed by Black/African Americans (2,688) and 6.2% filed by Latino/Hispanics (2,494).
  • By disability status: 3.4% (1,356) of initial regular claims were from individuals identified as having a disability, including 0.8%(316) who identified themselves as disabled veterans.
  • By veteran’s status: 4.7% (1,892) of initial regular claims were filed by veterans, including 185 initial regular claims from individuals eligible for veterans benefits due to family relations with a veteran.


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