Va. sees small decrease in new jobless claims
After weeks of fluctuation, numbers were steady last week
The fluctuating numbers of initial unemployment claims in Virginia took a break last week, with little change from the previous week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday. For the filing week ending May 8, 11,270 people submitted new jobless claims, a decrease of 961 claimants from the previous week, or 7.8%.
In April, the number of new claims bounced up and down week after week, including a 171.6% week-over-week increase reported for the April 19-24 filing week.
A year ago, 52,139 Virginians filed initial claims, 78.3% higher than last week.
Continued claims remained fairly steady, with 57,844 filed last week, an increase of 2,649 from the previous week. A year ago, however, 392,673 people filed continued claims, 85.2% higher than last week. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
Last week’s initial claims represent “a significant improvement from the roughly 52,000 initial claims filed in same week in 2020,” Dominique Johnson, research associate at Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy, said in a statement. “The number of Virginians receiving some form of unemployment benefits increased from the previous week. The general trend, however, shows a continued steady decline from the peak in April 2020. Overall, Virginia’s labor market shows continued improvement, and the expected uptick in economic activity over the coming months should only accelerate the recovery.”
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.
Below are the top 10 localities, listed by number of initial unemployment claims, for the week ending May 8:
- Fairfax County, 631
- Norfolk, 479
- Richmond, 466
- Virginia Beach, 463
- Prince William County, 452
- Chesapeake, 294
- Newport News, 286
- Alexandria, 277
- Chesterfield County, 274
- Loudoun County, 253
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims last week was 473,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 2,326,632 initial claims during the same week last year.