New Va. unemployment claims down 32%
New claims dropped under 2,000, but continued claims rose 480
Virginia’s new unemployment claims declined by almost 32%, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday.
For the filing week ending Jan. 22, Virginians filed 1,940 initial claims, down 909 from the previous week. Continued claims totaled 7,543, an increase of 484 claims from the week before.
Compared to the same week last year, initial claims were 89% lower than the 18,312 recorded then. Continued claims were 89% lower than the 67,298 from the comparable week. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
The majority of claimants who filed for benefits last week reported being in these industries: construction; administrative and waste services; accommodation and food service; and retail.
The VEC has drawn attention and legal action for backlogs of claims during the pandemic. On Jan. 19, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office removed Ellen Marie Hess from her position as VEC commissioner, WVEC’s 13News Now reported. On Jan. 21, Youngkin announced that he named Carrie Roth as the VEC commissioner. Roth was the deputy secretary of commerce and trade under former Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims was 260,000, a decrease of 30,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The advance number of actual initial claims, unadjusted, totaled 267,573.