6/24/2021

Employment Security Department
#21-039

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 24, 2021
Email media inquiries:  media@esd.wa.gov

Initial claims for regular benefits increased slightly during the week of June 13 – June 19

OLYMPIA – During the week of June 13 – June 19, there were 7,544 initial regular unemployment claims (up 9.5 percent from the prior week) and 374,810 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 2.3 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  

  • Initial regular claims applications are now 75 percent below weekly new claims applications during the same period last year during the pandemic.
  • The 4-week moving average for initial claims remains elevated at 8,347 (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.
  • Initial claims applications for regular benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) increased slightly over the week.
  • Initial claims applications for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and continued/ongoing claims for all benefits decreased over the week.
  • Increases in layoffs in Accommodation and Food Services and Educational Services contributed to the increase in regular initial claims last week.

In the week ending June 19, ESD paid out over $213 million for 272,242 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March 2020, ESD has paid more than $19.2 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim type

Week of

June 13- June 19

Week of

June 6- June 12

Week of

May 30- June 5

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims

7,544

6,892

8,868

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims

1,581

1,468

1,403

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims

1,455

1,828

1,940

Continued/ongoing weekly claims

364,230

373,588

374,106

Total claims

374,810

383,776

386,317

Note: You can find detailed claims data anytime on the ESD websiteBelow is a sixty-eight 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, June 24, 2021 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

Data disclaimer and definitions

Per U.S. Department of Labor regulations, weekly unemployment claims data is embargoed and not available for release until the Thursday following the claim week. 

Initial claims include individuals who filed first-time claims as well as additional claims filed by individuals as a result of a new unemployment event. Initial claims include claims that are still being reviewed for eligibility. Counts for initial claims are not indicative of the number of claims that will result in monetary compensation.

Continuing claims equal continued weeks claimed including a total of all weeks for which benefits were claimed, even though such benefits were not paid or payment status is uncertain or unknown, e.g., waiting weeks, partial weeks, weeks for which penalties are being served and weeks for which a monetary or nonmonetary issue is pending. 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is an emergency program established by the federal CARES Act that temporarily expands unemployment insurance eligibility to self-employed workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and part-time workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is an emergency program established by the federal CARES Act that extends unemployment insurance for those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits.

Web links

COVID-19 resources

Labor market web links

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