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Posts tagged: unemployment claims

Unemployment claim hours extended

Phone lines for those filing unemployment claims or seeking information will open one hour earlier starting Nov. 1, the Washington Employment Security Department announced today.

From Monday through Friday, call center agents will be available 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The number is 1-800-318-6022.

Applications for benefits and claim submissions can be made anytime on-line. The address is www.esd.wa.gov

The centers are busiest during the winter because of seasonal layoffs in construction and agriculture.

The extended hours will last through Jan. 31.

Loss of low-pay jobs helps raise average wage in Washington

The average wage in Washington rose nearly 2 percent last year, largely because thousands of low-paying jobs disappeared during the recession.

Average annual pay increased 1.9 percent to $47,153 in 2009 – the smallest increase since 2004. The average weekly wage was $906 last year, the Employment Security Department said today.

Among other things, average wage is used to compute unemployment-insurance benefits for jobless workers. Because the average wage increased in 2009, the minimum and maximum unemployment benefits will go up for new unemployment claims beginning next month.

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