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Unemployment claims in Washington state rise as cuts remain high

New unemployment claims in Washington rose again last week as the state continued to struggle with job losses due to the epidemic amid a sharp decline.

Washington filed 11,863 new or “preliminary” lawsuits last week, up 3.6 percent from the previous week, the State Employment Safety Administration (ESD) said Thursday. It was the second consecutive week of growth after a month of steady decline.

New jobless claims rose 2.2 percent to 744,000 last week, the US Department of Labor said on Thursday.

The rise of new demands in Washington comes amid renewed concerns by the state about the growing number of COVID-19 cases, even as the state immunization program expands rapidly. From April 15, 16-year-olds from Washington will have the right to strike.

“The number of new lawsuits filed last week may have been much lower than in the first months of the epidemic, but remains roughly similar to the figures presented during the Great Depression,” the ESD said in a statement on Thursday.

The total number of weekly or ongoing lawsuits filed in Washington last week fell below 1% to 409,904.

Last week, ESD paid benefits for 305,707 individual claims, down 1.5% from the previous week. Because individuals can have multiple claims, the number of claims is often slightly higher than the number of individual claimants.

More than $ 1 million worth of unemployment benefits have been paid to more than 1 million Washington residents since March 2020, about two-thirds of which comes from the federal government.

For comparison, each year for the past 10 years, ESD has averaged over $ 1 billion a year, according to ESD.

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