Va. jobless claims continued to decrease last week
New claims hovering at 6K for past few weeks
Virginia’s initial and continued unemployment claims continued to slightly decrease last week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday.
For the filing week ending July 31, the state recorded 6,029 new jobless claims, down 149 from the previous week, while continued claims totaled 31,960, down 1,643 from the previous week. Compared to the same week last year, continued claims were 90% lower than the 331,401 claims the same week in 2020, while initial claims last week were about 75% lower than a year ago, when claims reached 23,918.
People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
On Monday, the General Assembly convened for a special session to allocate federal stimulus funds. Gov. Ralph Northam has proposed spending $862 million to refill the state’s unemployment trust fund, which funds unemployment benefits, and allocating $73.6 million to modernize the VEC, which is under court order to get through a backlog of 92,000 cases by Labor Day. As of July 17, the agency had brought the backlog to about 23,300, but it has not said how many new cases have been added to the load over the summer.
Early Thursday, the House of Delegates and Senate passed different versions of the budget that they will now have to reconcile.
More than half of the claimants who filed for benefits last week reported being in these industries: health care and social assistance; administrative and waste services; accommodations/food service; and retail.
The regions of the state that have been most impacted continue to be Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims last week was 385,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 983,780 initial claims during the comparable week last year.