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New jobless claims in state, county increased last week

Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 1,375 new unemployment claims the week ending Oct. 10, a 61% increase compared with the week before, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.  (Associated Press)
Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 1,375 new unemployment claims the week ending Oct. 10, a 61% increase compared with the week before, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department. (Associated Press)

New jobless claims surged in the state and Spokane County last week, according to data provided by the Washington State Employment Security Department.

Spokane County, which is still rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on its job market, posted a double-digit increase in new claims last week due in part to seasonal work changes in the construction and education sectors, said Doug Tweedy, a regional economist with the ESD.

Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 1,375 new claims the week ending Oct. 10, a 61% increase compared with 854 claims filed the week before, according to the employment security department.

In the county, more than 427 new claims last week came from undisclosed professions, while laid-off workers in the food-services and drinking-places sector filed 108, followed by administrative and support services with 107 claims, according to ESD data.

Although the number of new claims increased last week, continued benefit claims in the county are still declining. The number of continued benefit claims last week dropped to 9,300, a decrease from 9,750 filed a week prior, Tweedy said.

“We continue to see a decrease in continued claims, which is a positive thing,” he said.

Laid-off workers in the state filed 22,324 new jobless claims Oct. 4-10, a 44% increase compared with the previous week, the department reported Thursday.

More than 476,735 claims in all unemployment benefit categories were filed last week, a 5.9% drop from the week prior.

The ESD paid more than $153 million in benefits for the week ending Oct. 10. It has paid more than $11.6 billion in benefits since the onset of COVID-19 in mid-March.

The accommodation and food-services sector saw the greatest number of new claims last week with 2,234, followed by manufacturing with 1,687.

Laid-off construction workers filed 1,676 new claims, the retail trade sector saw 1,649 filed and health care and social assistance sector workers filed 1,532.

New jobless claims in Idaho up 19%

Laid-off workers in Idaho filed 3,519 new benefit claims in the week ending Oct. 10, an increase of 564 claims from 2,955 claims filed the week prior, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Continued claims dropped 8% to 8,386 last week, marking the 23rd consecutive week of declines, according to the department.

The department paid out $6.3 million in benefits last week, down from $7.1 million paid for the week ending Oct. 3.

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