Va. jobless claims fall to lowest level since March
72K Virginians remain unemployed, however
The number of initial jobless claims filed last week fell to its lowest level since the pandemic’s employment effects began to be felt in mid-March, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday.
Initial jobless claims in Virginia dropped by 29.7% last week compared with the previous filing week, according to the VEC, while continued claims fell by 10.9%.
For the week ending Nov. 28, 8,606 Virginians filed initial claims for unemployment, a decrease of 3,628 from the previous week.
Last week, 72,305 Virginians remained unemployed — 55,308 higher than the 16,997 continued claims from the same period last year. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
“This drop indicated a continuation of its recent declining trend and was over 80% lower than its May 16 filing week peak,” according to the VEC. “The continued claims total is mainly comprised of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The regions of the state that have been most impacted continue to be Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Below are the top 10 localities, listed by number of initial unemployment claims, for the week ending Nov. 28:
- Prince William County, 567
- Virginia Beach, 495
- Fairfax County, 485
- Norfolk, 450
- Richmond, 293
- Portsmouth, 209
- Augusta County, 200
- Chesterfield County, 166
- Henrico County, 160
- Newport News, 155
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for last week was 712,000, a decrease of 75,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 216,827 initial claims during the same week last year.
For the month of October, the unemployment rate in Virginia fell from 6.1% to 5.1% when compared to September, and was 1.5% lower than the national rate, according to the VEC.
The Harrisonburg region reported the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia at 3.6% in October, while the Bluefield region in Southwest Virginia showed the highest unemployment rate at 6%. The Bluefield, Richmond and Norfolk/Newport News micropolitan statistical areas were the only regions in Virginia to report unemployment rates higher than the state average for the month.
The localities with the lowest unemployment rates for October include:
- Highland County, 2.5%
- Madison County, 2.8%
- Poquoson County, 2.9%
- Rockingham County, 3.2%
- Falls Church, 3.2%
The localities with the highest unemployment rates for October include:
- Petersburg, 13.8%
- Emporia, 10.6%
- Hopewell, 9.9%
- Martinsville, 9.5%
- Portsmouth, 9.1%