The Washington State Employment Security Department brought mainly welcomed news when it released its weekly unemployment report Thursday.

For the week ending July 24th, initial regular unemployment claims were down 10% statewide. This was the 7th consecutive week statewide initial claims have reached a new pandemic low. Initial claims are now lower than they were pre-pandemic, although total claims are still dozens of times higher than before the lockdowns.

Regionally, Chelan County saw a 25% drop in initial unemployment claims, while Douglas County fell by 26% and Okanogan 20%. Grant County was largely unchanged, having gained three more initial claims than the week previous.

Improvements in the Construction and Health Care sectors contributed to the largely improved numbers.

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