OLYMPIA – During the week of July 18 – July 24, there were 4,554 initial regular unemployment claims (down 10.0 percent from the prior week) and 311,097 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 84 percent below weekly new claims applications during the same period last year during the pandemic.

The 4-week moving average for initial claims is at 5,257 (as compared to the 4-week moving average of initial claims pre-pandemic of 6,071 initial claims). That level represents the lowest levels of initial claims for regular benefits since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, and the seventh consecutive week initial claims have reached a new pandemic low.

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

Decreases in layoffs in Construction and Health Care and Social Assistance contributed to the decrease in regular initial claims last week.

In the week ending July 24, ESD paid out over $189 million for 232,247 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March 2020, ESD has paid more than $20.2 billion in benefits to over 1.1 million Washingtonians.

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

Below is a seventy-three 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, August 5, 2021 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.