New jobless claims in the state increased slightly last week as additional layoffs occurred in the construction, agriculture, accommodation and food services sectors, according to Washington State Employment Security Department.
Laid-off workers in the state filed 14,043 initial jobless claims the week ending Feb. 20, a 3.2% increase compared with the week prior, the department reported Thursday.
Continued claims in all unemployment categories also increased, with 462,218 benefit applications filed the week ending Feb. 20, a 3.3% increase from a week prior.
The construction sector saw the greatest number of new claims last week with 2,766, followed by the accommodation and food services sector with 1,452. Laid-off workers in the retail trade sector filed 1,225, while those in the health care and social assistance sector filed 1,037.
The ESD paid more than $249 million in benefits last week. It has paid $15 billion in benefits since the pandemic’s impact began affecting the state’s economy in March.
Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 870 new unemployment claims the week ending Feb. 20, a 10.6% decrease compared with 974 claims filed the week before, according to the employment security department.
In the county, 415 new claims last week came from undisclosed professions, which have not been categorized into specific employment sectors.
Specialty trade contractors filed 138 new jobless claims in the county last week. Workers in the food services and drinking places sector filed 55.
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