Unemployment claims remain high in region

Several industries have more than 20% of workforce filing for unemployment

A total of 216,820 continuing unemployment claims were filed during the week of June 7-13 in the central Puget Sound region.

Continuing unemployment claims are filed by workers who have previously filed an initial unemployment claim and remain eligible for unemployment benefits.Tracking continued claims provides a more accurate picture of unemployment claims over time.

Several industries in the region still have more than 20% of their workforce filing for continued unemployment. Arts & Entertainment has the highest share at 29%, followed by Accommodation & Food Services at 24%, and Educational Services and Other Services at both just above 20%. Other Services include Landscaping, In-Home Domestic Services and Barbers/Salons.

The Accommodation & Food Services sector has had the largest total volume of claims, more than double any other industry, with 42,968 claims for the week of June 7-13.  Retail was the next highest with 19,352 claims.

Industries vary in recovery phase under the Safe Start, Stay Healthy plan. At the time of data release, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties were all in Phase 2 of recovery, while King County was in a modified Phase 1. (King County moved to Phase 2 on June 19.)

Arts & Entertainment, which has the highest share of workers filing claims,  will not open until Phases 3 and 4.

Restaurants and Bars have varying phases. Other industries with high shares of unemployment claims, such as Other Services, Other Retail and Motor Vehicle/Parts Dealers, are now open regionwide.

Consumer confidence will continue to play a critical role in recovery. In particular, Accommodation & Food Services and Other Services are both highly dependent on consumer confidence.