Washington sees total unemployment claims jump 20 percent from the previous week

Washington saw total claims for unemployment benefits climb nearly 20 percent last week.

The Employment Security Department says the week ending May 9th had 1.3 million total claims for all unemployment benefit categories – or about 215,000 more than the week prior. Last week, there were 109,400 initial regular unemployment claims, which was an increase by more than 8,600.

Benefits paid out by ESD totaled more than $767 million, up $130 million, for 538,000 individual claims, which was an increase of 34,500 from the previous week. Since the week ending March 7th when COVID-19 job losses began,1.77 million initial claims have been filed during the pandemic, while 1.02 million distinct individuals have filed for unemployment benefits.

ESD has paid out nearly $2.9 billion in benefits to Washington residents. (ESD)