During the week of May 24-30, there were 31,224 initial regular unemployment claims (down 36% from the prior week) and 774,959 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (a decrease of 155,423) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD). ESD believes the continued decrease is due to a variety of reasons including fraud prevention measures and more people going back to work with the reopening of some industry sectors and regions over the past three weeks.
ESD paid out over $514.7 million for 400,352 individual claims.
|Unemployment claim type||Week ofMay 24-30||Week ofMay 17-23||Week ofMay 10-16|
|Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims||31,224||48,445||138,733|
|Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims||12,878||21,250||61,325|
|Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims||10,176||19,111||59,630|
|Continued/ongoing weekly claims||720,681||841,576||1,410,892|
Since the week ending March 7 when COVID-19 job losses began:
- A total of 2,045,863 initial claims have been filed during the pandemic (1,280,711 regular unemployment insurance, 409,566 PUA and 355,523 PEUC)
- A total of 1,152,516 distinct individuals have filed for unemployment benefits
- ESD has paid out over $4.9 billion in benefits
- 826,123 individuals who have filed an initial claim have been paid
“The dramatic decline in initial claims this week is a strong signal that the additional steps we are taking to address imposter fraud are working. We’ve already recovered and stopped the payments of hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims in the past two weeks, and we will continue to reclaim every dollar we can,” said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine. ”Our priorities from day one of this crisis have been to get benefits out to Washingtonians who need them quickly and expand eligibility so those impacted can get the help they need, and we are continuing to ramp up our staffing to work through the large numbers of applicants and adjudications. We know every day matters for people awaiting their benefits. We are committed to processing those claims as quickly as possible.”