State unemployment insurance applications jump 843 percent over previous week

133,464 new claims due to COVID-19 related layoffs

During the week of March 15-21, 133,464 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed with the state Employment Security Department (ESD) which was an increase of 119,310 new claims over the previous week, a jump of 843 percent.

The tremendous increase in new unemployment claims was due to COVID-19 related layoffs.

“This data shows the enormity of the situation unfolding in our state,” said Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine in a Thursday news release. “The velocity and volume of the impact of COVID-19 has created a crisis that is unprecedented in the history of the program – going back to the 1930s when it was established.

“To address this, I have an amazing team working hard on three very clear priorities: get benefits out more quickly to those who are eligible, expand eligibility for those who can utilize this benefit and help employers find staff for essential jobs. The entire department is doing everything we can to meet the needs of this situation and our fellow Washingtonians.”

Weekly data breakdown

By industry

Industry sectors experiencing the highest percentage of new claims during March 15-21 were:

* Accommodation and food services: 41,309 new claims, up 1,033 percent from the previous week

* Health care and social assistance: 18,902 new claims, up 2,103 percent from the previous week

* Other services: 9,626 new claims, up 2,871 percent from the previous week

* Retail trade: 8,700 new claims, up 1,189 percent from the previous week

* Manufacturing: 5,276 new claims, up 434 percent from the previous week

By county

Demonstrating the COVID-19 wave washing across the state, Spokane County experienced the highest increase, 455 to 8,766 up 1,826 percent from the week before. King County, the most populous in the state and one that had already started to see a precipitous rise in claims the prior week, saw new claims increase from 5,834 to 37,296 during the week of March 15-21, up 539 percent from the week before.

All other counties experienced a spike in new claims, with some of the highest during the same period in:

* Pierce County: New claims filed increased from 1,559 to 14,730 up 845 percent from the week before.

* Snohomish County: New claims filed increased from 1,386 to 13,692 up 888 percent from the week before.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

Republicans file lawsuit over Inslee’s emergency: ‘Facts, and the science, are clear’

Lawsuit says state has violated Constitutional rights of citizens.

Among the candidates for Washington state governor in 2020: (Top row, L-R): Omari Tahir Garrett, Winston Wilkes, Thor Amundson, Cameron Vessey, Martin ‘Iceman’ Wheeler, Ryan Ryals; (middle row L-R): Liz Hallock, Goodspaceguy, Gov. Jay Inslee, Don Rivers, Gene Hart; (bottom row L-R): Phil Fortunato, Tim Eyman, Alex Tsimerman, Cairo D’Almeida, Cregan Newhouse, Raul Garcia.
GOP gubernatorial hopefuls aim to oust Inslee amid COVID-19

Former Bothell mayor Joshua Freed and initiative-pusher Tim Eyman could be the front-runners.

Nonprofit launches new online COVID-19 local resource hub for King County

Hub collects links for more than 300 local resources for people affected by virus.

COVID-19 cancelled the King County Fair

The fair has an estimated $5 million impact on the local economy and accounts for a majority of the Expo Center’s operating funds.

State issues guidance on dental care, medical appointments

Resumption of those practices depends on adequate protective equipment and patient screening.

Like similar businesses across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, Bothell restaurant Hana Sushi closed due to public-health concerns. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee changes course, says diners won’t have to sign in

Restaurants may still ask customers for information that contact tracers could use to stop an outbreak.

Sheri Bebbington says technology was her lifeline when she was in isolation at St. Joseph Medical Center undergoing a clinical drug study for COVID-19. Courtesy photo
Federal Way woman is first patient in COVID-19 clinical drug trial

‘I’m so, so grateful I got my life back’

Most Read