New Va. unemployment claims fall by 50%
Continued claims rise by 7,000 over past week
The state’s new unemployment claims for the filing week ending Nov. 27 fell by about 50% from the previous week, while continued claims rose by more than 7,000 filings.
The Virginia Employment Commission installed a new unemployment insurance system in November, and it missed two weeks of reports during that period.
According to the VEC’s announcement Thursday, 6,546 initial claims were filed last week, a decrease of 6,548 claimants from the previous week. Continued claims totaled 13,917, an increase of 6,605 claims from the previous week and 81% lower than 72,305 claims from the comparable week in 2020. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
The decrease in new claims by Virginians reflects U.S. employment numbers. In November, the unemployment rate hit a 21-month low of 4.2%, a 0.4% drop since October, and 594,000 people in the U.S. entered the labor force last month, the most in 13 months.
The majority of Virginia claimants who filed for benefits last week reported being in these industries: accommodation/food services; administrative and waste services; retail; manufacturing; and health care and social assistance.
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 222,000, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week’s revised level. There were 711,416 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Virginia had 328,000 job openings in September, breaking a record set in July, when there were 320,000 openings.