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New jobless claims in the state declined last week as $600 federal benefit expired

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 13, 2020

Initial unemployment claims in Washington state decreased 1.7% July 19-25, compared with the previous week, the Washington State Employment Services Department reported Thursday.  (Associated Press)
Initial unemployment claims in Washington state decreased 1.7% July 19-25, compared with the previous week, the Washington State Employment Services Department reported Thursday. (Associated Press)

Laid-off workers in the state filed 28,840 new jobless claims for the week ending July 25, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.

Initial unemployment claims decreased 1.7% July 19-25, compared with the previous week, the department reported Thursday.

Nearly 677,355 workers filed continued jobless claims last week, a 0.6% decrease from 673,444 claims filed a week prior, according to the department.

“We continue to see employment uncertainty reflected in the unemployment numbers as initial regular claims fluctuate week to week,” ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine said in a statement. “We also experienced a notable change this week, as the additional $600 in federal benefits expires Friday. Unless Congress acts soon to extend or alter it, the loss of this additional benefit will create hardship for many individuals and families.

“While ESD administers this additional benefit, we do not have a say in whether it is extended. We are following the situation closely and will continue to update claimants if there are any changes.”

The accommodation and food services sector saw the greatest number of new claims last week with 3,140, an increase of 5% over the previous week.

Health care and social assistance workers filed 2,782 new claims, and the retail trade sector filed 2,287, according to the department.

More than 2.3 million people have filed initial unemployment claims and the department has paid out $8.7 billion in benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the state in March.

Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 1,927 new unemployment claims the week ending July 25, a 3% decrease compared with 1,989 claims filed the week before, according to the employment security department.

Idaho claims decline 17%

Idaho jobless claims decreased 17% the week ending July 25, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Laid-off workers in Idaho filed 4,703 new claims last week, the department said Thursday.

Manufacturing, health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, and retail trade accounted for 51% of the weekly total.

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