Clark County residents’ initial unemployment insurance claims are back to pre-pandemic levels, according to the Employment Security Department; last week, initial claims dropped substantially, from 455 to 317 and 225 were already in the ESD’s system going back to the first week of the pandemic.
“That was close to a normal number,” said Scott Bailey, regional economist for Southwest Washington. “The first week of March last year had 310 initial claims.”
Continued unemployment insurance claims are still high but slowly dropping; last week, there were 13,560 claims, down from 13,580 the week prior. Over the past four weeks, the number of continued claims filed has dropped by 500.
“We still have thousands of continued claims,” Bailey said. “The drop in that has been very slow.”
The leisure and hospitality industry had the most continued unemployment insurance claimants at 1,054 last week. Health care and social assistance claims came in at 793, retail trade at 792, construction at 724 and manufacturing at 664 claims.
Continued claims for managers were the most numerous in occupation groups, at 1,839. Food service workers filed 1,484 claims and sales workers filed 1,393 claims.
“Claimant demographics remained roughly the same, with over representation of African Americans, Indigenous people, Pacific Islanders, women, those with a high school diploma or GED in terms of formal education,” Bailey said.