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Clark County unemployment claims jump 38%

The job loss caused by COVID-19 hit new highs as the number of unemployment insurance claims filed in Clark County was about 38 percent higher last week compared with the week prior.

In the week starting March 23, 8,661 people filed for unemployment in the county, according to the Washington Employment Security Department. That’s up from 6,294 claims the week before. Both weeks were record-breaking. Compare them with the week of March 9, when 373 claims were filed in the county.

“It’s huge,” said Scott Bailey, the department’s regional economist for Southwest Washington. “I’m not surprised.”

Although the department didn’t have industry-specific claims available for Clark County available on Thursday evening, Bailey said he’d bet that workers from the construction industry would file the most claims compared with other sectors, which reflects the statewide trend. The shutdown of construction lagged the general shutdown of other businesses by several days, causing those claims to be filed a few days later.



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