Va. jobless claims saw slight decrease last week
Governor proposes funding for VEC trust fund, modernization
Virginia’s initial and continued unemployment claims decreased last week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday.
For the filing week ending July 24, the state recorded 6,178 new jobless claims, down 126 from the previous week, while continued claims totaled 33,603, down 1,599 from the previous week. Compared to the same week last year, continued claims were 90% lower than the 344,826 claims the same week in 2020, while initial claims last week were 86% lower than a year ago, when claims reached 42,966.
People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
On Monday, the General Assembly will convene 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.
More than half of the claimants who filed for benefits last week (and the prior four weeks) reported being in these industries: accommodations/food service; administrative and waste services; retail; and health care and social assistance.
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 400,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 1,202,278 initial claims during the same week last year.