The number of new weekly jobless claims in the state declined last week as fewer layoffs occurred in the retail trade and educational services sectors, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.
Laid-off workers in the state filed 10,507 new jobless claims during the week ending May 1, a 9.6% drop compared with 11,629 claims the week before, the department reported Thursday.
New jobless claims are now 90% below applications filed during the same period last year, according to the ESD.
Continued claims in all unemployment categories declined 0.9%, with 404,257 applications filed in the week ending May 1.
The ESD paid more than $230 million in benefits last week. It has paid $17.5 billion in benefits since the pandemic’s onset last year.
Employees in the construction sector filed the greatest number of claims in the state last week, with 1,690, followed by workers in health care and social assistance, who filed 992. Those in the manufacturing and retail trade sectors filed 989 and 988 new claims, respectively.
Employees in the accommodation and food services sector – one of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic – filed 855 new claims, which is the lowest number of applications since the beginning of March 2020.
Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 638 new unemployment claims in the week ending May 1, compared with 665 claims filed the week before, according to the employment security department.Amy Edelen can be reached at (509) 459-5581 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.