OLYMPIA – During the week of April 25 – May 1, there were 10,507 initial regular unemployment claims (down 9.6 percent from the prior week) and 404,257 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 0.9 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

Initial regular claims applications are now 90 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 13,158 (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 Retail Trade and Educational Services contributed to the decrease in regular initial claims last week.

Initial claims applications for regular benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance (PEUC) and continued claims for regular benefits all decreased over the week while initial claims applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) increased slightly over the week.

In the week ending May 1, ESD paid out over $230 million for 309,168 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March 2020, ESD has paid more than $17.5 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Note: You can find detailed claims data anytime on the ESD website.

Below is a sixty-one week summary of statewide initial claims filed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis:

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 13, 2021 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.