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Washington state added 31,911 initial unemployment claims for the week of June 21-June 27, a jump of 7.8 percent from the week before when 29,612 claims were filed and another 29,028 filed the week before that.

Clark County mimicked the state’s rise in initial unemployment claims, but only slightly. For the week of June 21-27, county residents filed 1,357 initial claims, up 1.5 percent from the previous week of 1,336, but above the previous week of 1,215. Since March 7, the county has recorded 65,284 initial claims.

A majority of the county’s claims have been filed by workers in these industries: food services, educational services, ambulatory health care services and social assistance.

As of May, the county’s unemployment rate stood at 14.3 percent. Out of a civilian labor force of 244,152, 209,156 county residents were employed and 34,996 unemployed.

Total state unemployment claims for the week came to 696,272, down 3.8 percent from the prior week, according to data from the state Employment Security Office. ESD paid more than $477.3 million for 394,910 individual claims this past week — a decrease of $55.5 million and 15,942 fewer individual claims from the prior week.

Since the week ending March 7 — generally considered the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic — Washington residents have filed 2,143,073 initial claims, and ESD has paid out more than $6.7 billion in benefits to 866,416 individuals who filed initial claims.

ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine noted in a prepared statement that “new unemployment claims, while down significantly from the peak of the crisis, remain at record-high levels. This is the second week in a row we’ve seen a slight increase in initial claims, indicating furloughs or layoffs in sectors like accommodation and food services and retail.”

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