Va. new unemployment claims up 16%
New claims rose by 400, but continued claims dropped 1,100
New unemployment claims in Virginia increased 16% last week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday.
For the filing week ending Jan. 15, Virginians filed 2,849 initial claims, an increase of 406 from the week before. Continued claims totaled 7,059, down 1,131 from the previous week.
Compared to the same week last year, initials claims were 86% lower than the 21,073 recorded then. Continued claims were almost 89% lower than the 63,839 from the comparable week. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
The majority of claimants who filed for benefits last week reported being in these industries: construction; administrative and waste services; retail; and health care and social assistances.
The VEC has been under scrutiny for backlogs of claims during the pandemic, and the agency recently reached an agreement with five legal advocacy groups to end a federal lawsuit the groups had filed against the state. On Wednesday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office removed Ellen Marie Hess from her position as VEC commissioner, WVEC’s 13News Now reported.
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 286,000, an increase of 55,000 from the previous week’s revised level. There were 937,313 initial claims in the comparable week in 2021. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 337,417.