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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jobless claims in state, county dropped last week

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 22, 2020

This photo shows the headquarters of Washington's Employment Security Department in Olympia. The state's  unemployment rate dropped to 6% in October as more private sector jobs were added to the state's economy.   (Associated Press)
This photo shows the headquarters of Washington's Employment Security Department in Olympia. The state's  unemployment rate dropped to 6% in October as more private sector jobs were added to the state's economy.  (Associated Press)

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

Laid-off workers in the state filed 16,890 new jobless claims Oct. 11-17, a drop of 24.3% compared with the previous week, the department reported Thursday.

More than 491,241 claims in all unemployment benefit categories were filed last week, a 3% increase from a week prior.

The ESD paid more than $149 million in benefits for the week ending Oct. 17. It has paid more than $11.8 billion in benefits since the pandemic’s onset in the state in March.

The construction sector saw the greatest number of new claims last week with 1,926, a 15% increase over the prior week. Workers in the accommodation and food services sector filed 1,718 new claims and those in manufacturing filed 1,349. Laid-off health care and social assistance workers filed 1,331 new claims last week.

Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 962 new unemployment claims the week ending Oct. 17, a 30% decrease compared with 1,375 claims filed the week before, partly because of the seasonal nature of the construction sector, according to the employment security department.

In the county, more than 518 new claims last week came from undisclosed professions, while laid-off workers in the food services and drinking places sector filed 81, followed by those in specialty trade contractors, who filed 68 claims, according to ESD data.

Idaho claims down 6.4%

Laid-off workers in Idaho filed 3,293 new benefit claims in the week ending Oct.17, a decrease of 226 claims over 3,519 filed the previous week, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Continued claims dropped 8% to 8,215 last week, marking the 24th consecutive week of declines, according to the department.

The department paid out $5.8 million in benefits last week, down from $6.3 million paid for the week ending Oct. 10.

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