Washington State sees decrease in initial, total jobless benefit claims

Black unemployment rate hits record low

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state saw a decrease in both new weekly and total claims for unemployment benefits.

More than 571,000 claims for benefits — with some of that number reflecting people who filed multiple claims — were filed for the week of Aug. 2-8, down 13% from the previous week.

Nearly 1.3 million people have filed claims for unemployment since early March when the pandemic job losses began, and more than 996,000 people who filed initial claims have been paid.

To date, the state has paid more than $9.5 billion in benefits, including federal money that, until last month, was providing the unemployed with an additional $600 a week on top of the state’s weekly maximum benefit of up to $790 per week.