Va. jobless claims during pandemic exceed Great Recession
Initial unemployment filings continue to decline, however
While Virginia saw a slight decrease in the number of initial jobless claims last week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday that the total number of initial claims filed since the beginning of the pandemic is greater than the combined totals filed during the 2007-09 Great Recession and the economic recession in 2001.
For the week ending Aug. 29, 10,305 Virginians filed initial claims for unemployment, a decrease of 1,131 from the previous week. However, 233,467 people in Virginia remained unemployed last week. This is a 6.5% decrease from the previous week, but 215,203 higher than the 18,264 continued claims from the same period last year. 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,” VEC Senior Economist Timothy Aylor said in a statement.
Since the pandemic began, more than 1.1 million Virginians have filed initial claims for unemployment.
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 Aug. 29:
- Fairfax County, 684
- Virginia Beach, 537
- Richmond, 429
- Norfolk, 399
- Prince William County, 370
- Chesapeake, 264
- Chesterfield County, 240
- Henrico County, 239
- Newport News, 218
- Loudoun County, 204
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for last week was 881,000, a decrease of 130,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 179,516 initial claims during the same week last year.