The number of new jobless claims in the state dropped last week as seasonal layoffs in construction and agriculture leveled off, resulting in fewer initial benefit applications, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.
Laid-off workers in the state filed 27,147 new jobless claims Jan. 3-9, a 8.4% decrease compared to the prior week, the department reported Thursday.
More than 515,561 claims in all unemployment benefit categories were filed last week, a 7.5% drop from a week prior.
The ESD paid more than $146.8 million in benefits for the week ending Jan. 9. It has paid more than $13.5 billion in benefits since the pandemic began affecting employment in the state in March.
Workers in the construction sector filed the greatest number of new claims last week, with 3,199, followed by the accommodation and food services sector, where 2,706 were filed. Laid-off retail trade workers filed 2,256 and health care and social assistance employees filed 1,891, according to the ESD.
Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 1,880 new unemployment claims the week ending Jan. 9, a 12.3% decrease compared with 2,144 claims filed the week before, according to the employment security department.
In the county, 504 new claims last week came from undisclosed professions, which have not yet been categorized into specific employment sectors. Workers in the food services and drinking places sector filed 184. Administrative and support services employees filed 148, while specialty those from the trade contractors sector filed 169.
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