Weekly new jobless claims in Spokane County drop to 333, state claims slightly rise

<p><p>New jobless claims in Spokane County dropped during the week ending Sept. 4 for a second consecutive week, according to data from the Washington state Employment Security Department.</p></p><p><p>Laid-off workers in the county filed 333 new claims last week , a 9.5% decrease compared with 368 claims filed the week before, the department reported Thursday.</p></p><p><p>New unemployment claims in the state increased to 5,205 in the week ending Sept. 4, a 2.6% increase in applications compared with 5,073 from the week before, according to the ESD.</p></p><p><p>Continued claims in all unemployment categories decreased 5.6%, with 257,702 applications filed last week.</p></p><p><p>Increases in layoffs in the health care and social assistance as well as construction sectors contributed to an increase of 132 new claims in the state last week, according to the ESD.</p></p><p><p>Federal pandemic benefits programs – which include Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – ended Sept. 4, eliminating an additional $300 per week in benefits for claimants.</p></p><p><p>The ESD paid out more than $166 million in benefits last week.</p></p>