Initial jobless claims dropped 21.9% last week, but remain elevated
More than 65K Virginians remain unemployed due to the pandemic
Initial jobless claims filed last week dropped 21.9% from the previous week, but still remain high compared with pre-pandemic levels, according to figures released Thursday by the Virginia Employment Commission.
During the week ending Feb. 6, 14,203 Virginians filed initial unemployment claims, compared to 18,177 from the week prior.
Last week, 65,091 Virginians remained unemployed, a 3.3% decrease from the previous week, but 43,042 higher than the same period in 2020. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
“The continued claims total is mainly comprised of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the VEC.
More than half of the claimants reported being in the accommodation/food service, administrative and waste services, retail trade and health care and social assistance industries, according to the VEC.
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 Feb. 6:
- Virginia Beach, 674
- Norfolk, 629
- Fairfax County, 588
- Richmond, 587
- Prince William County, 440
- Portsmouth, 377
- Chesapeake, 356
- Newport News, 327
- Alexandria, 316
- Hampton, 290
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims last week was 793,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 219,601 initial claims during the same week last year.