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Oct. 16, 2021

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Clark County jobless claims fall for second straight week

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Continued unemployment insurance claims in Clark County fell for a second week in a row after a small spike in late September caused by former recipients who qualified for regular unemployment insurance.

The extended benefits programs, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation, were cut off by the federal government in early September.

Three weeks ago, the continued claims were down to about 2,000 before the spike to 3,100. Each following week has seen a drop of about 400 claims.

In the week ending Sept. 18, out of 3,176 continued claimants, 1,382 were former PUA or PEUC claimants, said Scott Bailey, regional economist for Southwest Washington.

Bailey said it’s not clear if the people who stopped filing for unemployment found work. Some possibly gave up seeking employment or moved away also.

The industry breakdown of claimants hasn’t changed much. The No. 1 industry filing claims is health care and social assistance, with 288 claims. Construction filed 269, retail trade filed 199, manufacturing filed 159, business services filed 151 and accommodations and food services filed 134 claims.

Statewide, initial unemployment claims fell 2 percent last week from the prior week. There were 86,615 total claims filed in the state, down 10.8 percent from the previous week.