Blank Unemployment Benefits form

Seasonal layoffs drive slight increase in initial unemployment claims

Initial unemployment claims rose slightly statewide during the final week of October, driven primarily by upticks in claims in construction, manufacturing and agriculture due to seasonal layoffs.

There were 14,681 initial claims in Washington in the week ending Oct. 31, up 3.4 percent from the prior week . A total of 465,563 claims were filed for all unemployment categories, down 2.1 percent from the previous week, according to the Employment Security Department.

Accordingly, among the state’s five largest counties, only Spokane County saw an increase in initial claims, from 908 to 1,025, which is 13 percent more than the prior week. King and Clark counties both saw 5 percent decreases, while Snohomish County fell 3 percent and Pierce County 2 percent.

Initial claims in Kitsap County took another small dip, down to 326 from the 343 filed the prior week. Initial claim levels remain high — during the equivalent week in 2019 there were 118 initial claims filed in Kitsap. Statewide, initial claims levels are 113 percent higher than last year.

The state paid out $143 million in individual claims, surpassing the $12 billion mark for the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic thus far.

The industries with the highest number of initial claims for the week ending Oct. 31 were: construction (1,931 claims, up 10 percent); accommodation and food services (1,546 claims, up 1 percent); health care and social assistance (1,174 claims, down 3 percent); manufacturing (1,072 claims, up 8 percent); and retail trade (1,054 claims, down 7 percent).

Occupations with the largest number of initial claims include: construction and extraction (2,115 claims, up 5 percent); management (1,620 claims, down 1 percent); food preparation and serving (1,571 claims, up 1 percent); office and administrative support (1,176 claims, up .2 percent); and transportation and material moving (1,143 claims, up 7 percent).

More in News

Health District confirms 53 new cases of COVID-19 in Kitsap

Over the past two weeks, Kitsap County’s positive case rate per 100,000 residents is 183.3

State unveils COVID-19 notification app

Washington state is launching a smartphone app designed to let users know… Continue reading

Vaccine likely coming soon to Kitsap County

The bad news is COVID-19 rates have continued to increase in Kitsap… Continue reading

Jane Pomeroy has owned the Berry Patch Kitchen Store for 50 years in Bainbridge Island. Steve Powell/Bainbridge Island Review photos
Berry Patch, owner, still going strong after 50 years

It’s rare for a business to last 50 years. It’s rarer still… Continue reading

Brenda Fantroy-Johnson
North Ward council vacancy down to two candidates

Fantroy-Johnson, Lindley finalists for BI council spot

Health District confirms 64 new cases of COVID-19 in Kitsap

KPHD and hospital officials are urging action to prevent strain on the healthcare system.

Gov. Jay Inslee at the beach. HeraldNet photo
3 days of protests planned at Inslee’s BI home

Gov. Jay Inslee recommends small gatherings for Thanksgiving, due to COVID-19 spikes… Continue reading

The COVID-19 test site in Bainbridge Island is adding slots so more people can take part. Courtesy photo
BI COVID testing site can see more patients

The Bainbridge Island drive-thru COVID-19 testing site is adding eight appointments each… Continue reading

Greg Bonciolini working on the Kelly stained glass window. Courtesy Photo
Mesolini Glass Studio offers in-person show

40th Winter Show runs Dec. 4-6

Most Read