Issue 22 | November 9, 2020
Stronger Together Spokane:
Workforce System Response to COVID-19
Our regional job market continues to improve with an almost 37% increase in the number of new postings and reductions in the numbers of people claiming unemployment benefits. However, we are starting to see some of the normal seasonal impacts on the labor market, including fewer construction jobs as the weather turns and projects start to wind down. 

Last week, the Journal of Business held its annual Workforce Summit and panelists from education and business offered insights into how our community is working together to respond to the economic crisis. They reflected that education that directly prepares people for work is more important now than it has ever been, as the skill and credential demands required for success in almost every industry have increased. They also recognized that workers returning to classrooms face new challenges such as access to technology and childcare, and the affordability of tuition.

Employers and educators are committed to partnering to meet students where they are and offer solutions that support people getting the skills and credentials they need to be successful as they return to work.

We look forward to building even stronger relationships and working together to identify and break down barriers to improve economic opportunities for 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

Although fluctuating from week to week, on average the level of initial claims for unemployment insurance have been continuing at the same level for several months. 1,025 new initial claims were filed in the week ending October 31, which is a 12.9% increase, or 908 additional initial claims, from the prior week.

New weekly initial claims continue to run higher than levels from this time last year, but are significantly down from the record levels of new claims observed earlier in the pandemic.

Regular continued claims for unemployment have been steadily declining in Spokane County and now sit at 7,104 in the week ending October 31.

The most impacted industries continue to be Accommodation and Food Services (1,098 continued claims), Healthcare and Social Assistance (856), Manufacturing (685), Retail Trade (668), and Construction (630).

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) continued claims remain level with 5,619 continued claims in October. PUA claims benefit gig, contract, and part-time workers.

In the week ending October 31, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) continued claims increased to 4,223. PEUC claims benefit workers that have exhausted their regular unemployment claim. These workers are now eligible for a 13-week emergency extension of their unemployment claim.

Both PUA and PEUC were enacted by the CARES Act, and are currently set to expire on December 26.
Weekly Continued Claims by Type | Spokane County

October saw the largest number of new online job postings in Spokane County since the beginning of the pandemic with 5,853 new postings.

Here is an overview of the type of job postings for the month of October:
October's New Online Job Postings
Data Sources: Washington State Employment Security Dept/LMEA, Burning Glass Labor Insights
Workforce Services Update
Since moving to remote services on March 17, our campus has served 25,167* customers and 1,830* local businesses. 

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