Washington State Department of Job Security announcement.
For the 4-week moving average ending January 1, 2022, compared to the previous 4-week moving average:
- Regular initial requests increased by 1,826 for a total of 7,490. As with the previous 4-week moving average, the increase is likely due to seasonal layoffs, primarily in construction and agriculture.
- Regular ongoing complaints increased by 3,713 for a total of 49,848.
The increase in initial claims is typical for the agriculture and construction industries during this pre-pandemic week. And total initial claim volumes are still lower than pre-pandemic levels, indicating continued improvements in the overall labor market.
The 4 week moving average is designed to show trends over time. Data covers initial regular and ongoing claims for the weeks ending December 11, December 18, December 25, and January 1. See tables below.
Continuing claims are the total of all weeks of benefits claimed. See a more detailed definition in the Disclaimer and definitions section below.
From December 1 to December 31, 2021, ESD paid more than $ 105.2 million in regular benefits to more than 55,082 Washingtonians.
Latest Monthly Initial Claims Press Release: Find future monthly data on our website
Due to unprecedented levels of initial unemployment claims at the start of the pandemic, ESD began sending out weekly press releases on initial claims in March 2020. In October 2021, we switched to monthly press releases when the number of initial weekly demands returned to pre-pandemic levels. . Now that the initial weekly requests are lower than pre-pandemic levels, ESD will no longer send out the monthly press release. You can continue to find detailed claims data at any time on the ESD website..
For complete data showing weekly initial claims by industry sector and county for the year to date, also see the weekly initial jobless claims tables. These charts are compiled by ESD’s Economic and Labor Market Analysis Division. For more information on specific counties, contact one of ESD’s local regional economists.
4 week summary of regular initial requests
Seasonal increases in layoffs in the construction and agriculture, fishing and forestry sectors contributed to an increase of 1,826 regular initial claims from the previous four week average of regular initial claims in November 2021.
By business sector
The industry sectors with the highest number of regular initial claims during the 4 week period ending January 1, 2022 were:
- Construction: 12,574.
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting: 2,253.
- Manufacture: 2,252.
- Administrative and support services and waste management and remediation: 2,052.
- Retail trade: 1,529.
The occupations with the highest number of regular initial claims during the 4-week period ending January 1, 2022 were:
- Construction and quarrying trades: 12,146.
- Transport and material movement professions: 3 311.
- Management occupations: 2,162.
- Agriculture, fishing and forestry occupations: 1,647.
- Production occupations: 1,559.
King County, the most populous county in the state, had the highest number of regular initial requests, 4,898, for the 4-week period ending January 1, 2022.
Other counties with the greatest number of initial requests:
- Pierce County: 4,047.
- Snohomish County: 3,059.
- Yakima County: 2,452.
- Spokane County: 2,142.
Table 1: 4-week moving averages
|Type of unemployment claim||Weekend January 1, 2022||Weekend December 4, 2021||Weekend January 2, 2021||Weekend January 4,
|Initial regular unemployment insurance claims||7,490||5 664||21 947||8,989|
|Ongoing or ongoing weekly claims for regular benefits||45 162||50,848||148,638||49,528|
|Total – regular initial and ongoing claims||50 623||56 120||165,841||57,410|