Issue 14 | July 27, 2020
Stronger Together Spokane:
Workforce System Response to COVID-19
This Saturday marks the end of the additional $600 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits available to laid off workers. This assistance, funded by the CARES Act, has helped supplement the incomes of everyone receiving unemployment benefit since the crisis began in early March. Congress is currently debating whether or not to extend or modify this program, and there is uncertainty over the next iteration of any FPUC benefits. If you are unemployed, now is definitely the time to start thinking about your next career move and prepare for your future. Our WorkSource Career Coaches are available for virtual appointments to talk about the possibilities and how we can help you plan and meet your goals. Leave a voice message or send an email, and a Career Coach will respond to your request within 48 hours. The WorkSource website is also full of helpful resources, including a list of employers with immediate job openings in the Spokane area. Our team is ready to help!

We are Stronger Together Spokane .

Mark Mattke
Chief Executive Officer
Labor Market Update
The Spokane County unemployment rate decreased to 9.9% in June 2020 , down from 15.1% in May . This time last year, Spokane’s unemployment rate was 5.2%. The latest figure estimates that there were 24,528 people considered unemployed in June in Spokane County. Statewide the unemployment rate was 9.7% in June.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications (WARN) Act requires companies with 100 or more employees to notify affected workers 60 days prior to closures and layoffs.
Since the beginning of March, ten WARN notices have been issued by companies affecting employees in Spokane County. 1,066 employees have been impacted by these WARN notices, with 1,044 listed as a temporary layoff and 22 listed as permanent.
Across Washington State, since the beginning of March, 176 WARNs have been issued affecting 34,132 workers, with the vast majority of the WARN notices issued for the Puget Sound Region by food services and accommodation companies.
Initial Claims
In Spokane County, initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased from 2,617 to 1,989 claims, down 24% from the prior week. Industries with the most initial claims in the week ending July 18 were Accommodation and Food Services (259 initial claims), Health Care and Social Assistance (238), and Manufacturing (181). 
Continued Claims
Continued claims for unemployment insurance have been decreasing slightly week over week, and now sit at 18,955 continued regular unemployment claims for the week ending July 18. Although significantly down from the highs observed in May, continued claims have remained fairly steady for a month and a half, only decreasing by 1,163 claimants over the last month. The current level of continued claims is approximately 3,000 claimants higher than the high point of the great recession a decade ago.  
Online Job Postings
New weekly online job postings have decreased over the past few weeks in Spokane County, with 711 new online postings in the week ending July 18. This level of new weekly online job postings is similar to the levels of job postings observed near the beginning of the pandemic impacts in April and May.
Data Sources: Washington State Employment Security Dept/LMEA and Burning Glass Labor Insights
Workforce Services Update
Since moving to remote services on March 17, our campus has served 13,939 job-seeking customers and 1,036 businesses. Below is a summary highlighting achievements of the past week. 
Talent Solutions
This team remains extremely busy and engaged with local employers. As more businesses increase hiring, the team has been providing assistance with navigating remote hiring, promoting open positions and assisting with return-to-work resources. The team continues to develop tools to assist businesses with the many issues associated with re-opening, planning for the future and supporting businesses interested in hiring individuals with disabilities. Virtual tools are being added regularly – check for updates. 
WorkSource Spokane
The committed members of team WorkSource Spokane continue to expand virtual services and are finding creative ways for promoting their content and honing their craft virtually. Most recently, the team purchased a new virtual assessment tool to support job seekers, which will be available in the coming weeks. As always, career coaches are available by phone to assist anyone looking for work. Visit or call 509-532-3120. 
"I was very pleased to hear that WorkSource had on-line and live workshops for customers. I am laid off and most likely will not return to my former job. The WorkSource staff members on the phone guided me to the website, and the workshops were excellent information to assist me in creating my résumé and being prepared for an interview. Thank you WorkSource."
- Pauline S.
Next Generation Zone
The staff at the Next Generation Zone have had a very busy and impressive month. Highlights include:
  • Since July 1, four students have already completed their GED.
  • The Education Team is close to completing the "GED and Beyond" course, which is a combo high school and career plan with life skills curriculum assimilated into it.
  • We are proud to announce that one amazing young adult started a new job this week as an Attendant Counselor making $17.25/hr hour and working 40 hours per week.
  • The team also started issuing Chromebooks and Hotspots to students, providing an entire technology access package for their schoolwork.
  • Click here to view a new video promoting the Medical Assistant Apprenticeship program. The video was created by a young adult serving the Next Gen Zone in the Ambassador internship.
  • The team launched a GED Snap-ad campaign that has seen over 80 “Swipe Ups” so far.
  • And lastly, our Academic Life Coach created a video on the benefits of Volunteering. Click here to view on Facebook.
Current updates can be found on facebook at .
"I would not have gone to college if it weren't for Next Gen. I didn't know it was something that was available for me."
- Next Gen Zone Student
Spokane Resource Center
This has been an exciting month at the SRC. The team continues to serve as resource experts for a wide variety of topics, including housing, healthcare access, technology access and more. Since receiving the news that the Spokane City Council awarded us $500,000 in rental assistance funding, SRC staff has worked tirelessly to prepare. They have hired and trained new staff, created processes and are preparing to begin issuing checks to assist city residents with rental costs. They already have a list of 200 inquiries, and will be working on calling them back as soon as funding is ready to be released. Please  click here for more information . The Spokane Workforce Council wants to extend a special thanks to the team at SRC and our partners at Career Path Services for pulling this together so quickly. 
"It is nice to have someone on your side during this time. I have been able to get the housing help I needed by calling the SRC and being referred to other agencies directly. Thank you."
- SRC customer