Washington state’s new business starts, as indicated in applications for federal tax IDs, have climbed back into the territory they were in before the pandemic struck — running several percentage points above their level in 2019.

The national pace of business formation has definitely accelerated, popping to more than 113,000 last week from 82,600 three weeks earlier. (The chart uses a rolling four-week average to smooth out fluctuations.)

The number of new businesses also surpassed 100,000 the previous week — a level not seen in the past 18 months, hence the large leap in comparison with a year ago.

Explanations might include the record number of people who have recently lost their primary job in the pandemic and are resorting to new ways of earning money.