WA unemployment claims sharply down from previous week

The Washington Employment Security Department reports during the week of May 17-23, there were 48,445 initial regular unemployment claims in the Evergreen State, down 65% from the prior week and nearly 1.5 million total claims for all unemployment benefit categories filed by state residents. The department believes the decrease was in large part due to significant fraud prevention measures that were put in place over the past two weeks.

ESD paid out over $494.5 million for just under 425,000 individual claims.

Since the week ending March 7 when COVID-19 job losses began, nearly 2 million initial claims have been filed in Washington during the pandemic.

ESD has paid out nearly $4.7 billion total in benefits. (Employment Security Department)