Issue 24 | December 21, 2020
Stronger Together Spokane:
Workforce System Response to COVID-19
As 2020 comes to a close, we are all looking forward to better days in 2021. Our economy has seen record numbers of workers and businesses negatively impacted over the past nine months, with ongoing layoffs and closures affecting nearly every sector of our economy. But through it all, our community has rallied to serve those in need and responded with resources to help put food on the table, pay rent, and take care of their children. Our partners in education have responded with innovative ways to engage with their students and our businesses have re-thought how to serve their customers. At the federal level, our representatives in Congress are now taking action on a new CARES Act bill that will offer additional relief, including funding for unemployed workers, small businesses, schools, and childcare. These new resources will help people and employers to bridge the gaps in their own budgets and make it through the next few months. 

We know that the new year will bring increased opportunities. Now is the time to think about how we each position ourselves to succeed in the months to come. Our economy is already growing in key areas and there were over 5000 job postings in November – companies are hiring! Our core industries like Healthcare, Manufacturing, Finance, Transportation, and Warehousing – offer good-paying jobs and career pathways. Many of our workers already have the skills they need to be competitive and others can start on a new career path through one of our local educational institutions. If you, or someone you know, is interested in exploring your options for a fresh start in 2021, please contact our staff at WorkSource Spokane or call (509) 532-3120. Let’s work together and ring in the new year with hope and make plans to take the steps that will support the economic success of everyone in our community.

We are Stronger Together Spokane.

Mark Mattke
Chief Executive Officer
Community Investment Dashboard

Tracking the SWC's Investment in Our Community's Recovery
Labor Market Update

There were 1,491 initial claims for unemployment insurance in Spokane County for the week ending December 12, which is a lower weekly total than the previous three weeks.

Food Preparation and Serving occupation have been most heavily impacted due to the new statewide economic restrictions. Construction occupations have seen heightened numbers of weekly initial claims, which is likely due to seasonality.
Most Initial Claims for the Week Ending December 12 - by Occupation Group
  • Food Preparation and Serving (250 initial claims)
  • Construction (213)
  • Building Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance (152)
  • Management (134)
  • Office and Administrative Support (100)
Weekly Continued Claims by Type | Spokane County

The week ending December 12 reported an increase in Spokane County for all three types of claims: regular continued claims, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Pandemic Expanded Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

The industries with the most continued claims were Accommodation and Food Services (2,171 regular continued claims), Construction (1,104), Healthcare and Social Assistance (808), Manufacturing (735), and Retail Trade (714).
Continued claims by type in the week ending December 12:
  • Regular Continued Claims: 8,936 (+1.7% from prior week)
  • PUA Continued Claims: 5,858 (+1.7% from prior week)
  • PEUC Continued Claims: 4,274 (+0.5% from prior week)
Weekly Continued Claims by Type | Spokane County

In the month of November, Spokane County saw 5,005 new online job postings, which is 52 more than the same time last year. Total new online job postings saw a 14.2% decline from October; however, November’s total represented the third highest monthly total for new online job postings in 2020, behind October (5,832) and August (5,013).

New job openings continue to be posted as the number of unemployment cases are beginning to increase in Spokane. The majority of the job openings are heavily concentrated in select industries, most prominently in Healthcare and Social Assistance. These sectors accounted for nearly 30% of all new online job postings in the month of November.
Weekly New Online Job Postings
Workforce Services Update
Since moving to remote services on March 17, our campus has served 27,640* customers and 1,929* local businesses. 

Below are highlights from the past three weeks and a summary of new projects and initiatives across our campus.
*Duplicate count if customers need multiple virtual assistance appointments.