Issue 25 | January 12, 2021
Stronger Together Spokane:
Workforce System Response to COVID-19
Our region is starting off the new year reflecting many of the economic trends that other areas across that country are also seeing. Unemployment has spiked with seasonal layoffs in the construction industry adding to other workers being impacted by the ongoing restrictions in place due to COVID. But, there is also good news in that the pace of hiring is picking up across a variety of industries and there are many open jobs available for workers with a range of different skills and credentials. 

Congress recently took action to provide more funds needed by businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that offer assistance in bridging gaps until the economy gains momentum. To help workers as they prepare for the economic recovery, the Spokane Workforce Council has also acquired additional resources. We received over $1.6 million in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Labor targeted to services designed to ensure that people can successfully return to work. To support this effort, we just launched our (re)Employ Spokane campaign to increase awareness and utilization of these funds and the services we have available to help workers plan and take action on their next career steps. For anyone seeking to rejoin the labor force or thinking about going back to school for retraining, now is the time to visit our website and contact our staff at WorkSource Spokane or call (509) 532-3120 to set up an appointment to discuss how we can work to together to kick off 2021 and prepare for a prosperous year ahead.

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

For the week ending January second, 2,144 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed in Spokane County. This represented a 64.2% increase from the previous week that saw 1,306 initial claims filed.

There were also 417 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims, up 50% from the previous week, and 388 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims, also a 23.2% increase from the week prior.
Industries with the Highest Number of Regular Initial Claims for the Week Ending January 2:
  • Construction (404 initial claims)
  • Accommodation and Food Service (274)
  • Administrative and Waste Services (185)
  • Retail Trade (184)
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance (160)
Weekly Initial Claims | Spokane County

Continued claims for unemployment insurance in Spokane County increased in the week ending January 2 for both regular unemployment insurance and PUA claims. In the most recent week, regular continued claims have steadily increased to 9,767 since reaching the pandemic low of 6,856 claims in the first week of November.

The industries with the most regular continued claims are Accommodation and Food Services (2,239 regular continued claims), Construction (1,374), Administrative and Waste Services (874), Healthcare and Social Assistance (862), and Retail Trade (790).
Continued claims for the week ending January 2:
  • Regular continued claims: 9,767 (+5.9% from the week prior)
  • PUA continued claims: 6,911 (+8.9% from the week prior)
  • PEUC continued claims: 3,572 (-9.2% from the week prior)
Weekly Continued Claims by Type | Spokane County

There were 4,526 new online job postings for the month of December in Spokane County, which was 365 more new job postings than December 2019. Even with heightened economic restrictions added at the state level, Spokane County businesses are still posting a significant number of new jobs.
Weekly New Online Job Postings
4,526 | December 2020
WorkSource Spokane Campus Updates
Since moving to remote services on March 17, 2020, our campus is proud to have virtually served thousands of job seekers and businesses. 

Heading into 2021, we are continually innovating ways to serve our customers virtually more effectively. Below is a summary of new projects and initiatives that will kick off 2021 throughout our campus.