Va. new unemployment claims up 51%
Continued claims up by 6,000
Virginia’s new unemployment claims increased by almost 51% last week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday.
For the filing week ending Jan. 1, Virginians filed 1,813 new claims, an increase of 609 from the previous week. Continued claims totaled 11,262, an increase of 6,358 claims from the week before.
Compared to last year, initial claims were almost 91% lower than the 19,530 recorded then. Continued claims were 82% lower than the 63,588 reported in the same week last year. 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; manufacturing; accommodation and food services; and administrative and waste services.
The VEC has been under scrutiny for backlogs of claims during the pandemic. On Wednesday, five legal advocacy groups reached an agreement with the VEC to end a federal lawsuit they had filed against the state for failing to promptly settle claims and pay benefits, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 207,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level. There were 898,610 initial claims in the comparable week in 2021. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 315,469 for the week.