September 3, 2020
This morning the state Employment Security Department (ESD) gave its weekly report on unemployment insurance claims.
ESD reported a total of 28,871 initial claims for unemployment insurance during the August 23–29 week. Of this total, 18,172 initial claims were under the regular unemployment insurance program; 4,590 claims were under the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program, which covers self-employed persons, independent contractors and part-time workers; and 6,109 claims were under the federal pandemic unemployment compensation program, which extends the maximum term of benefits from 26 weeks to 39 weeks.
The number new claims for regular unemployment insurance is a decrease of 217 from the number claims filed during the preceding week. The four-week moving average of regular initial claims is 20,161, down 1,703 from the preceding week.
The number of initial claims under the two pandemic programs is an increase of 432 from the number filed during the preceding week.
We estimate that the seasonally adjusted 4-week average of regular initial claims was 27,750, down from 28,860 (revised) the preceding week.
A note of caution about this chart: In May, Washington’s unemployment insurance system was hit by a rash of fraudulent claims (press release here). ESD believes that most of the fraudulent claims were filed between May 1 and May 16, which coincides with the second, lower peak during the current recession.
ESD reports that continuing claims for unemployment insurance totaled 532,049 in the most recent week. This is a decrease of 7,961 from the number reported for the preceding week.
The ESD press release is here.Categories: Economy.