OLYMPIA – During the week of April 18 – April 24, there were 11,629 initial regular unemployment claims (down 12.0 percent from the prior week) and 408,001 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 1.5 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

Initial regular claims applications are now 91 percent below weekly new claims applications during the same period last year during the pandemic.

The 4-week moving average for initial claims remain elevated at 13,497 (as compared to the 4-week moving average of initial claims pre-pandemic of 6,071 initial claims) and remains at similar levels of initial claims filed during the Great Recession.

Decreases in layoffs in Manufacturing and Educational Services contributed to the decrease in regular initial claims last week.

Initial claims applications for regular benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) as well as continued claims for regular benefits all decreased over the week.

In the week ending April 24, ESD paid out over $230 million for 295,464 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March 2020, ESD has paid more than $17.2 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Note: 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, May 6, 2021 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.