Va. new jobless claims increase slightly
VEC reported 9,360 reports filed, down from 15K two weeks ago
Virginia’s new unemployment claims rose about 7% last week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday, following a 300% surge two weeks ago and then declined to more normal levels last week.
For the filing week ending Oct. 2, people filed 9,360 initial claims, an increase of 643 from the week before. Continued claims totaled 44,019, a decrease of 3,222 claims from the previous week.
Compared to the same week last year, initial claims were about 14% lower last week than the 10,843 recorded in the same week last year, and continued claims were 73% lower than a year ago, when the state recorded 160,764 claims.
People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
The majority of the claimants who filed for benefits last week reported being in these industries: health care and social assistance; administrative and waste services; retail; accommodations/food service; and professional and technical services. The regions of the state that have been most impacted continue to be Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.
The VEC met its Labor Day deadline on a court order to address a backlog of earlier claims, but other disputed claims built up in that period. The agency has paused its collection of overpayments to unemployed claimants as it sorts through the backlogs of disputed claims and appeals, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Also, WTVR 6 reported that the VEC’s launch of an updated claims system, set for Oct. 1, has now been postponed to November.
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims last week was 326,000, a decrease of 38,000 from last week’s revised level. There were 723,981 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020.