New jobless claims in Va. surge by 300%
15K people filed for unemployment insurance last week
After three weeks of declining unemployment claims statewide, the number of new claims shot up more than 300% last week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday. At the same time, continued claims dropped by more than 3,000 for the filing week ending Sept. 18.
The VEC said in Thursday’s report that the end of federal benefits Sept. 4 could be behind the steep increase in new claims last week, which came after a 38% decrease the previous week. Initial claims totaled 15,962 last week, an increase of 12,140 from the week ending Sept. 11 — the nation’s second-highest increase, after California. Continued claims totaled 37,569 last week, down 3,055 from the previous week.
Initial claims were 50.8% higher last week than the 10,582 new claims filed the week of Sept. 19, 2020, and continued claims were 80% lower last week than the 188,195 continued claims this week last year. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
The majority of the claimants who filed for benefits last week reported being in these industries: health care and social assistance; administrative and waste services; retail; and accommodations/food service. The regions of the state that have been most impacted continue to be Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads. The city of Roanoke also saw a significant increase in new claims, from 43 the previous week to 269 during the Sept. 18 filing period.
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims last week was 351,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level. There were 815,892 initial claims in the comparable week last year.