Unemployment claims doubled last week as coronavirus shutters businesses

Unemployment claims doubled last week as coronavirus shutters businesses

Numbers like this haven’t been seen since height of the Great Recession.

The coronavirus outbreak generated a groundswell of new unemployment claims last week, as service, arts and education workers were laid off.

During the week of March 8, there were 14,154 new claims for unemployment benefits filed with the state’s Employment Security Department. It marks a 116 percent increase amid orders for bars, schools, in-person dining at restaurants and more businesses to shut down in an attempt to reduce the number of Covid-19 infections.

The Department is expecting even greater numbers of coronavirus-related layoffs in it’s next report which will come out on March 26. The daily rate of new claims is similar to the worst weeks of the Great Recession more than a decade ago.

“Our agency is working in close coordination with the Governor’s office as well as other state and federal agencies to ensure we do everything we can to address this crisis and find every support possible for Washington’s families and economy,” said the Department’s Commissioner Suzi LeVine in a press release.

Dramatic increases in filings were concentrated in a few areas. Food service workers claims jumped nearly 600 percent, with educational workers filings not far behind with a nearly 570 percent increase. Entertainment and recreation filings spiked roughly 256 percent, and real estate, rental and leasing increased 147 percent. Workers under 35 represented the largest group filing new claims.

Economists have been sounding the alarm over the outbreak causing a new recession which could cost millions of jobs. The Economic Policy Institute expects 3 million jobs to disappear by summer, and more than 80 million could be impacted nationwide, according to a Moody’s report.

Low-wage workers which have been unable to save up a personal safety net amid years of skyrocketing rents will likely be hit hardest.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Unemployment claims doubled last week as coronavirus shutters businesses

More in News

Screenshot taken from Rosa Parks Elementary School website.
Eastside school wins National Blue Ribbon honors

Rosa Parks Elementary School in Redmond is the only Washington school to win.

Screenshot taken of a King County video showing Wilburton Trestle
King County’s Eastside to receive major multi-modal transportation investment

Private and public investors will help build a regional biking and walking trail to mitigate traffic

Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
How a King County restaurant and farm work together to make a true farm-to-table experience

The Grange prepares sustainably produced meals pulled from the soil of the Snoqualmie Valley.

NW Carpenters Union members strike in front of downtown Bellevue construction site (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Carpenters union strike interupts some prominent Eastside construction projects

Union representative says members are prepared to strike “as long as it takes.”

Map of proposed landfill expansion sites (screenshot from King County website)
Waste management expert knocks county’s plan to expand landfill

The waste management advocate said the decision to expand seems pre-determined despite assessment.

Participants in fundraiser previous event (courtesy of Alzheimer’s Association Washington State Chapter)
Walk To End Alzheimer’s returns to Eastside on Sept. 25

Alzheimer’s Association moves forward with plans for an in-person event.

Photo of construction of Westside Park renovations (courtesy of City of Redmond)
Redmond’s Westside Park renovation is expected to be complete this Fall

Renovations are focused on increasing recreational space while also preserving “woodsy” aesthetic.

Pixabay photo
Union carpenters to go on strike, expected to impact Eastside Microsoft projects

Members authorized strike after rejecting AGC offer for the fourth time.

Most Read