The number of new weekly jobless claims in the state and Spokane County spiked significantly last week as claimants reaching the end of their benefit year were required to reapply to continue receiving payments, according to the Washington state Employment Security Department.
Laid-off workers in the state filed 17,281 new jobless claims the week ending April 10, a 45.7% increase compared with the week before, the department reported Thursday.
Layoffs in the health care and social assistance, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors also contributed to the increase in new claims last week, according to the ESD.
Continued claims in all unemployment categories increased 0.4% with 428,521 applications filed during the week ending April 10.
The ESD paid more than $233 million in benefits last week. It has paid $16.8 billion in benefits since the pandemic’s onset in the state last year.
Employees in the construction sector filed the greatest number of claims last week, with 1,847, followed by those in the retail trade, who filed 1,247. Workers in the health care and social assistance sector filed 1,197 claims, while accommodation and food services filed 1,016. Those in the manufacturing sector filed 1,098 new claims, an increase of 231 claims compared with the week ending April 3.
Laid-off workers in the county filed 1,039 new unemployment claims the week ending April 10, a 45.7% increase compared with 713 claims filed the week before, according to the employment security department.
In the county, 629 new claims last week were from undisclosed professions that have not yet been categorized into specific employment sectors.
Specialty trade contractors filed 78 new jobless claims in the county last week. Employees in the food services and drinking places sector filed 46, and those in the social assistance sector filed 31.
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