OLYMPIA – During the week of January 10-16, there were 19,212 initial regular unemployment claims (down 29.2 percent from the prior week) and 468,801 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 9.1 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

Initial regular claims applications remain at elevated levels and are at 114 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.

Initial claims for regular unemployment, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and continued/ongoing claims for regular benefits all decreased over the week.

Reductions in seasonal layoffs in construction drove a decrease in new regular jobless claims last week. Regular initial claims in the construction sector decreased by 838 over the week to 2,361 total regular initial claims. Reduction in layoffs from the Administration and Support industry sector also contributed to the decrease in regular initial claims over the week with initial claims in this sector decreasing by 526 initial claims over the week.

In the week ending January 16, ESD paid out over $320 million for 336,817 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $13.8 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Note: Detailed claims data and charts by county, industry and occupation will be included in this release on a monthly basis. You can find detailed claims data anytime on the ESD website.

For complete information of weekly initial claims by industry sector and county for the year to date, also check the weekly unemployment initial claims charts compiled by ESD’s Labor Market & Economic Analysis division.

For more information about specific counties, contact one of ESD’s regional local economists.

ESD will send out the next weekly new claims press release on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.