403K+ Virginians unemployed
Nationally, nearly 39M have filed since pandemic began
More than 403,500 Virginians are still unemployed following the economic devastation from the COVID-19 pandemic, though the number of initial jobless claims in the commonwealth continues to decrease.
About 44,000 Virginians filed initial claims for unemployment last week, down from roughly 52,000 initial claims the prior week, according to the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). The state’s weekly unemployment rolls have continued to decline since peaking in early April, when 147,369 Virginians filed initial jobless claims in a single week.
Nevertheless, a total of 403,557 Virginians filed for unemployment benefits last week — a 2.8% increase from the previous week. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
“Thus far, continued claims during the May 16 filing equaled 56% of all initial claims filed during the pandemic,” VEC Economist Timothy Aylor said in a statement. “This percentage was a significant drop-off from the previous week.”
More than 2.4 million people in the United States filed initial claims for unemployment last week, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, bringing the total of unemployed Americans to nearly 39 million in the wake of the economic crisis.
During the May 16 filing week, the hospitality and food service sectors continued to see the greatest percentage of initial claims for unemployment in Virginia. Many continued claims also came from retail workers, health care and social workers.
“This reflects impacts of public health and safety measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Aylor said in a statement.
The regions of the state that have been most impacted continue to be Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Below are the top 10 localities, listed by number of initial unemployment claims, for the week ending May 16:
- Fairfax County, 5,344
- Prince William County, 2,601
- Virginia Beach, 2,166
- Richmond, 1,773
- Loudoun County, 1,729
- Henrico County, 1,542
- Norfolk, 1,524
- Chesterfield County, 1,520
- Newport News, 1,252
- Chesapeake, 1,176
Last week’s U.S. claims were down by 249,000. In the week ending May 2, 27 states reported that 6.1 million people are claiming federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides temporary benefits for people who are not eligible for regular or traditional unemployment insurance.
Fifteen states reported 162,727 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which provides up to an additional 13 weeks of regular or traditional unemployment insurance benefits to those who have exhausted their eligibility.
The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 17.2% for the week that ended May 9, a 1.7% increase from the previous week.
The states with the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending on May 2 were Nevada, Michigan, Washington, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Puerto Rico, Mississippi, Vermont and Georgia.
States with the largest increases in initial claims for the week that ended on May 9 were Florida, Georgia, Washington, New York and South Dakota, while the largest decreases were in California, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Missouri.