Va. new unemployment claims fall 466% from previous week
Continued claims stay steady in week ending April 10
About 5,000 Virginians filed initial unemployment claims for the week ending April 10, a 95% decrease from this time a year ago when jobless claims were near their peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week’s 5,034 new claims were 466% lower than the previous week’s, when 28,526 people filed, according to the Virginia Employment Commission’s Thursday report.
The number of continued claims filed last week — 57,371 — stayed close to the same number as the previous week, 57,344, although much lower than this time last year, when 236,791 people filed continued unemployment claims.
People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
More than half of the claimants who filed for benefits last week (and the prior four weeks) reported being in the accommodation/food service, administrative and waste services, retail trade and health care and social assistance industries, according to the VEC.
The regions of the state that have been most impacted continue to be Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.
According to The Associated Press, five women have sued the head of the VEC for delayed unemployment payments, as well as postponed adjudication of grievances and nonresponses to applications for benefits. A few weeks ago, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner wrote a letter urging Gov. Ralph Northam to speed up payment of benefits to Virginia unemployment claimants after the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which includes compensation for long-term unemployed people, self-employed people and gig workers. Warner said in the letter that constituents were calling his office with complaints.
Below are the top 10 localities, listed by number of initial unemployment claims, for the week ending April 10:
- Fairfax County, 318
- Richmond, 255
- Virginia Beach, 249
- Norfolk, 195
- Prince William County, 191
- Alexandria, 184
- Newport News, 137
- Loudoun County, 134
- Chesapeake, 119
- Hampton, 105
- Henrico County, 101
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims last week was 576,000, a decrease of 193,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 4,897,867 initial claims during the same week last year.