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The front of WorkSource is pictured on Thursday, April 9, 2020 in Union Gap, Wash.

YAKIMA, Wash. — First-time unemployment claims in Yakima County dipped last week to their lowest level since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, state unemployment officials reported Thursday.

Data from the State Employment Security Department shows that 1,140 people filed first-time claims for unemployment during the week ending June 6, a 2.1% decline from the week of May 30, when 1,164 people filed for unemployment.

However, the number is 71.4% higher than the 326 who filed initial unemployment claims during the same week in 2019, ESD data shows.

Agriculture workers represented the largest sector of workers filing new claims (91), according to the ESD data, followed by those in food manufacturing (67) and specialty trade contractors (32), a group that includes plumbers, painters and electrical workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Because of its large number of new coronavirus cases, Yakima County remains in Phase 1 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Safe Start Washington” program, which bars non-essential businesses from reopening.

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Reach Donald W. Meyers at dmeyers@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: donaldwmeyers, or https://www.facebook.com/donaldwmeyersjournalist.