During the week of April 12-18, there were 82,435 initial and 605,514 total claims for unemployment benefits, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD). While initial claims declined 42 percent from the previous week, the total claims continued to grow.
During the week of April 12-18, ESD paid out over $177 million to 352,909 unemployed workers, a $51.3 million increase from the previous week. Since the week ending March 7 when COVID-19 job losses began, the department has paid out nearly $496 million in benefits to Washingtonians.
“It is hard to imagine that the fifth highest week of claims in Washington state history could be considered the calm before the storm, but that is certainly what we saw last week,” said Employment Security Commissioner, Suzi LeVine. “Although remaining at historic levels, the initial claims dropped last week before the tsunami of applications began this week when we launched the expanded benefit applications under the federal CARES Act. The updates went live on Saturday night, after which we received more applications in 36-hours than we did during the entire record-breaking week at the end of March. While we know many more are struggling to apply in the crush of volume we’re receiving, we will keep working until everyone gets the money for which they are eligible.”
Weekly data breakdown
Industry sectors experiencing the highest number of initial claims during April 12-18 were:
- Retail trade: 9,485 initial claims, down 6,426 initial claims from previous week
- Health care and social assistance: 9,134 initial claims, down 3,649 initial claims from the previous week
- Manufacturing: 8,335 initial claims, down 25,002 initial claims from previous week
- Accommodation and food services: 7,668 initial claims, down 3,565 initial claims from previous week
- Construction: 6,742 initial claims, down 10,549 initial claims from previous week
Only one industry sector experienced an increase of initial claims during April 12-April 18:
- Management of companies and enterprises: 214 initial claims, up 69 percent from the previous week.
King County, the most populous in the state saw initial claims decrease from 39,796 to 24,461 during the week of April 12-April 18, down 39 percent from the week before.
Other counties with the largest number of initial claims during the week were:
- Pierce County: Initial claims filed decreased from 19,377 to 11,016 down 43 percent from the week before.
- Snohomish County: Initial claims filed decreased from 27,780 to 10,958 down 35 percent from the week before.
- Spokane County: Initial claims filed decreased from 8,382 to 5,069 down 40 percent from the week before.
- Clark County: Initial claims filed decreased from 5,591 to 3,707 down 34 percent from the week before.
Demographic breakdown – complete charts are provided in Appendix A below. (This information is asked during the application process).
During the week of April 12-18:
- By gender: 48.5 percent (39,979) of the initial claims were filed by females while 51.1 percent (42,130) were filed by males.
- By age: 25 percent (21,009) of initial claims were filed by the 25-34 year old age group, followed by 21.1 percent (17,361) by the 35-44 year old age group and 17.8 percent (14,685) by the 45-54 year old age group.
- By race: 65.2 percent (53,741) of initial claims were filed by Caucasians, followed by 10.1 percent (8,332) filed by Asian Americans and 5.9 percent filed by African Americans.
Please see new charts in the Appendix A below. 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.Print This Post