Weekly jobless claims in Spokane County reach pandemic-era low

<p><p>Weekly jobless claims in Spokane County fell to a pandemic-era low last week, according to data from the Washington state Employment Security Department.</p></p><p><p>Laid-off workers in the county filed 247 new claims during the week ending Oct.2, a 13.9% decrease compared with 287 claims filed the week before, the department reported Thursday.</p></p><p><p>Prior to last week, the pandemic-era low for claims was 259 in the week ending July 24.</p></p><p><p>New unemployment claims in the state decreased 2% to 4,814 in the week ending Oct. 2, compared with 4,914 from the week before, according to the ESD.</p></p><p><p>Continued claims in all unemployment categories declined 10.8% compared to the previous week, with 86,615 applications filed last week, according to the ESD.</p></p><p><p>The ESD paid more than $35 million in benefits last week.</p></p><p><p>Although federal pandemic unemployment benefit programs expired Sept. 4, benefits will continue to be paid for applicants whose claims are pending in adjudication or on appeal, if they are determined to be eligible for payment, according to the ESD.</p></p>