Mason County News

Initial & Continued Unemployment Claims Increased 12/27 to 1/2

During the week of December 27- January 2, there were 29,651 initial regular unemployment claims (up 54.5 percent from the prior week) and 557,419 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (up 12.1 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  

  • Initial regular claims applications remain at elevated levels and are at 201 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Initial claims for regular unemployment, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and continued/ongoing claims for regular benefits all increased over the week.
  • The initial regular claims figures include new and restarted claims.  The 54.5 percent increase in initial regular claims occurred across all industry sectors over the week. 
    • Seasonal layoffs in construction and increases in initial claims from the accommodation and food services sector drove the largest increase in new jobless claims last week. Initial regular claims in the construction sector increased by 1,612 over the week to 4,941 total regular initial claims, while initial regular claims in the Accommodation and Food Services sector increased by 1,001 over the week to 3,096 initial claims.
    • The other industry sectors that experienced substantial increases in initial claims over the week were in Retail trade (+774) and Manufacturing (+707). The increases in retail trade are partly associated with post-holiday layoffs in the retail trade sector.   
  •  A total of 90,846 Washingtonians have also received $49.9 million in Pandemic Relief Payments (PRP). The PRP is a one-time payment of $550 for some recipients of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. You can learn more about these payments online.

In the week ending January 2nd, ESD paid out over $182.7 million for 316,175 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $13.4 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians. (this total does not include the $49.9 million in PRP payments sent last week). 

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WIAA Executive Board Revises Season 1 Sports

The WIAA Executive Board voted to amend its season schedule on Wednesday, moving traditional fall sports to WIAA Season 1 while choosing to review Seasons 2 and 3 at its Jan. 19 meeting.

WIAA Season 1 will span seven weeks in length, beginning with pre-competition practices on Feb. 1 and ending on March 20. The sports scheduled for that season include cross country, football, golf (alternate), slowpitch softball, girls and 1B/2B boys soccer, tennis (alternate) and volleyball.

Continue reading WIAA Executive Board Revises Season 1 Sports

State Releases Next Phase of Vaccine Prioritization

Wednesday, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released guidance for the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination. The department worked closely with the Governor’s Office to finalize prioritization for phase 1B, and we are pleased to be able to share eligible groups for this next phase of vaccination. This phase is broken up into four separate tiers. Michele Roberts is Acting Assistant Secretary of Health for the Washington State Department of Health:

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Residents Voice Concerns over Workforce Housing Development

Many residents voiced their concerns Tuesday over a housing development proposed for 90 acres of City of Shelton-owned property southwest of Brockdale Road and Island Lake Drive. This development is being touted as Workforce Housing and would include as many as 400 houses, a public mountain bike trail and a walking trail in two phases of construction.

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Inslee announces “Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery”

Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday announced “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery,” a COVID-19 phased recovery plan. Beginning on January 11, the state will follow a regional recovery approach with every region beginning in Phase 1.

“No one was untouched by the effects of the pandemic in 2020; many have and continue to suffer through no fault of their own,” Inslee said during a press conference Tuesday. “We aren’t out of this yet, but we are close to turning the corner on COVID-19 and this third wave of infection.”

Continue reading Inslee announces “Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery”

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