Even as the number of new jobless claims continues to fall, the number of workers still waiting for jobless benefits in Washington state remains stubbornly high.
Last week, Washingtonians filed 15,496 new unemployment claims, a 12.6% drop from the prior week, the Employment Security Department (ESD) said Thursday. It’s the lowest tally since early March, when pandemic-related layoffs were picking up — and a potential sign of a gradually improving economy. Almost 317,000 Washingtonians were collecting unemployment benefits as of last week. Nationally, there were 840,000 new claims last week, down 1% from a week earlier.
But there were also 20,223 Washingtonians as of last week who are waiting for the ESD to resolve issues with their unemployment claims, according to the agency’s weekly report.
And that figure doesn’t reflect the many thousands of workers who have already been turned down for benefits and are now trying to appeal.