New, continued jobless claims in Va. stay steady a second week
Initial unemployment filings 81% lower than a year ago
The number of initial unemployment claims filed during the week ending April 3 was 81% lower than the same period a year ago, when the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic saw unemployment filings near peak levels. The number of new filers last week increased slightly from the previous week.
The Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday that 28,526 people filed initial claims last week, an increase of 282 from the previous week. Continued claims totaled 57,344, a 0.5% decrease from the previous week and 75,840 lower than the 133,184 continued claims a year ago. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
More than half of the claimants who filed for benefits last week (and the prior four weeks) 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.
This week, the VEC announced it would begin contacting unemployment recipients across the state in May to inform them that they must start applying for two jobs a week to continue receiving state and federal assistance. This is the typical policy, but the requirement was suspended last year due to the pandemic.
Below are the top 10 localities, listed by number of initial unemployment claims, for the week ending April 3:
- Alexandria, 1,806
- Norfolk, 1,578
- Richmond, 1,241
- Virginia Beach, 1,255
- Fairfax County, 1,165
- Prince William County, 904
- Portsmouth, 790
- Fredericksburg, 784
- Portsmouth, 729
- Fredericksburg, 710
- Hampton, 636
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims last week was 744,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 6,161,308 initial claims during the same week last year.