Va. saw slight increase in jobless claims last week
1.13M Virginians have filed initial claims since mid-March
Virginia saw a slight increase in the number of initial jobless claims last week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday — bringing the total number of initial claims filed since mid-March to 1.136 million, or nearly 28% of the commonwealth’s pre-pandemic payroll employment.
For the week ending Sept. 5, 11,135 Virginians filed initial claims for unemployment, an increase of 830 from the previous week. And 217,485 people in Virginia remained unemployed last week. This is a 6.8% decrease from the previous week, but 200,069 higher than the 17,416 continued claims from the same period last year. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
“[Continued claims] also declined by 46.1% from their May 16, 2020 filing week peak of 403,557 claims,” VEC Senior Economist Timothy Aylor said in a statement. “The continued claims total is mainly comprised of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The regions of the state that have been most impacted continue to be Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Below are the top 10 localities, listed by number of initial unemployment claims, for the week ending Sept. 5:
- Fairfax County, 671
- Virginia Beach, 496
- Richmond, 451
- Norfolk, 411
- Prince William County, 343
- Chesterfield County, 265
- Henrico County, 257
- Newport News, 248
- Chesapeake, 239
- Portsmouth, 228
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for last week was 884,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 160,342 initial claims during the same week last year.
“As we enter the fall, the seasonal downturn in hospitality and tourism is likely to increase demands for unemployment insurance,” Robert McNab, director of Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy, said in a statement. “We are also observing an increasing number of workers transitioning from temporary furloughs to permanent layoffs. These developments suggest a ‘K-shaped’ recovery, where many highly skilled workers did not experience prolonged work disruptions. Lower-skilled workers continue to be buffeted by the demands of face-to-face employment and unemployment.”