The number of Washington residents applying for unemployment benefits for the first time increased last week, while the total number of jobless claims decreased.
The number of initial unemployment claims was up 6.4% last week, according to the state Employment Security Department. Total claims were down 4.6% from the week prior.
The department paid out more than $154.5 million for 337,390 individual claims last week, a decrease of $2.8 million compared with the previous week.
The industries experiencing the greatest number of initial claims statewide included construction, accommodation, health care and social assistance, retail trade, and educational services.
In Spokane County, initial regular claims increased by 9% last week, although numbers remain low compared to the spike at the beginning of the pandemic. Initial claims increased from 1,036 the week prior to 1,134 last week.
Nonfarm jobs and private sector jobs saw the largest declines.
The county’s nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 9.3% in August from 11.3% in July. The unemployment rate in August 2019 was 5%.
Claims down in Idaho
The number of people applying for unemployment claims for the first time in Idaho was down 6% for the week ending Sept. 19, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
Continued claims also continued to drop, down 7% last week to 10,708.
The department paid more than $7.8 million last week, down $15 million from the week prior.
The industries with the most initial claims last week were construction, and health care and social assistance.
Laurel Demkovich's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.