Jobless claims jump in Washington amid virus outbreak

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state saw a surge in new claims for unemployment insurance as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hurt the economy. The Seattle Times reports that for the week ending July 11, workers filed 40,466 new, or “initial,” claims for unemployment insurance, according to data released Thursday by the state Employment Security Department. That’s a 42.5% increase from the prior week and a marked change after six weeks when claims either fell or rose only modestly. Nationally, initial weekly claims fell roughly 0.8%, to 1.3 million, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. Among the hardest hit sectors in Washington: accommodation and food services, which saw a 47% increase from the previous week, to 4,534 initial claims.