New jobless claims in the state continued to trend downward last week, marking the fourth consecutive week of declines, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.
Laid-off workers in the state filed 16,102 new jobless claims Jan. 24-30, a 2.2% decrease compared with the week prior, the department reported Thursday.
Continued claims in all unemployment categories rose slightly last week with 489,741 benefit applications filed in the week ending Jan. 30, a 1.6% increase from the week before.
Pandemic Unemployment Compensation claims accounted for the increase in continued claims last week, the ESD said.
Workers in the construction sector filed the greatest number of new claims last week with 2,394, followed by accommodation and food services sector employees, who filed 1,595. Laid-off retail trade workers filed 1,583 and those in health care and social assistance filed 1,339, the ESD said.
The ESD paid more than $268 million in benefits last week. It has paid $14.3 billion in benefits since the pandemic’s economic impact began to take hold in March.
Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 1,088 new unemployment claims the week ending Jan. 30, a 4.1% decrease compared with 1,135 claims filed the week before, according to the employment security department.
In the county, 386 new claims last week came from undisclosed professions, which have not yet been categorized into specific employment sectors.
Specialty trade contractors filed 133 new jobless claims in the county last week. Workers in administrative and support services filed 97, followed by employees in food services and drinking places, who filed 87.
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