Initial jobless claims rise as extended benefits come to an end
U.S. Labor Department will cut off 13 extra weeks of unemployment pay
As the U.S. Department of Labor notified the Virginia Employment Commission that the state’s extended benefits program would end on Nov. 21, more than 11,000 Virginians filed initial jobless claims and more than 85,000 filed continued claims.
Under the extended benefit program, Virginians who had already used regular unemployment insurance benefits as well as any pandemic emergency unemployment compensation could receive up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits, but those who were eligible will not receive payments past Nov. 21. The Labor Department is ending the extended benefits program for Virginia residents due to overall gains in employment.
The number of initial jobless claims in Virginia rose by 11.9% last week compared with the previous filing week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday, while continued claims fell by 7.4%.
For the week ending Nov. 14, 11,088 Virginians filed initial claims for unemployment, an increase of 1,179 from the previous week.
Last week, 85,129 Virginians remained unemployed — 67,529 higher than the 17,600 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.
“Over half of claims were in the accommodation/food service, health care, administrative support and retail trade industries,” according to the VEC. “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.”
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 Nov. 14:
- Fairfax County, 861
- Prince William County, 610
- Richmond, 608
- Virginia Beach, 603
- Norfolk, 556
- Henrico County, 285
- Chesapeake, 231
- Chesterfield County, 226
- Newport News, 219
- Portsmouth, 216
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for last week was 742,000, an increase of 31,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 227,892 initial claims during the same week last year.