In Washington 4,850 filed initial claims for regular unemployment insurance last week

By: Kriss Sjoblom
12:43 pm
September 23, 2021

This morning the state Employment Security Department (ESD) gave its weekly report on unemployment insurance claims.

ESD reported a total of 6,496 initial claims for unemployment insurance during the week ending September 18. Of this total, 4,850 initial claims were filed under the regular state unemployment insurance program; 1,122 claims were filed under the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program, which covers self-employed persons, independent contractors and part-time workers; and 524 claims were filed under the federal pandemic unemployment compensation program, which adds 13 weeks to the maximum term of benefits.

The number of new claims for regular unemployment insurance is a decrease of 10 from the number of claims filed during the preceding week.

The four-week moving average of regular initial claims is 4,997, down 127 from the preceding week. I estimate that the seasonally adjusted 4-week average of regular initial claims was 6,389, down from 6,629 the preceding week.

The number of initial claims under the two federal pandemic programs is a decrease of 134 from the number filed during the preceding week.

ESD reports that continuing claims for unemployment insurance totaled 106,452 in the most recent week, which is 132,253 less than the number reported last week. The next chart shows continuing claims filed by week, with claims under the federal PUA and PEUC programs shown separately from those under the regular state program.

For the week, federal continuing claims fell by 157,219, while regular state continuing claims rose by 24,966. These large shifts are due to the expiration of the federal programs. (Some individuals who lost federal benefits were eligible for state benefits.) The full effect of the federal expiration will not be felt for several weeks. ESD notes,

Although federal benefit programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) as well as the additional $300 per week for most claimants, expired the week ending Sept. 4, 2021, [federal] benefits will continue to be paid after [that date] for individuals whose claims are pending in adjudication or on appeal if they are determined to be eligible for payment.

Last week ESD paid $52 million in UI benefits on 53,687 individual claims. Both numbers are down sharply from the preceding week, when ESD paid $151 million on 180,372 claims.

ESD’s weekly UI claims press release is posted here.

Categories: Economy.