Yakima County residents filed more than 2,800 new claims for unemployment with the state from March 15-21.
That’s a 963% increase from the 265 new claims filed a week earlier, according to the state Employment Security Department. That figure, reported for the week of March 8-14, was the lowest the county had seen this year.
Businesses started to temporarily close last week as part of health orders aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus.
The previous peak for new unemployment claims in Yakima County for 2020 came during the week of Jan. 12-18, when 591 new claims were filed.
All counties in Washington state experienced a similar spike in unemployment claims. The only notable difference was in King County, which started seeing a dramatic rise in unemployment claims a week earlier.