Va. unemployment claims remain high, but new claims drop
Initial filings fall 25% from last week's spike
Although the number of initial jobless claims filed last week dropped relative to the previous week, unemployment numbers remain high, according to figures released by the Virginia Employment Commission on Thursday.
During the week ending Jan. 16, 21,073 Virginians filed initial claims, a 25.3% decline from the previous week, which saw 28,227 people file new claims, the highest number since July 2020.
“Elevated levels in recent weeks may have, in part, reflected seasonal spikes in layoffs often seen after the holidays, as well as reapplications for benefits following the government’s renewal of supplemental benefits until March 14 as part of the latest stimulus package,” according to the VEC.
Last week, 63,839 Virginians remained unemployed, a 0.2% increase from the previous week and 41,621 higher than the same period in 2020. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
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 Jan. 16:
- Fairfax County, 1,082
- Richmond, 988
- Virginia Beach, 984
- Norfolk, 915
- Prince William County, 805
- Alexandria, 632
- Chesapeake, 549
- Portsmouth, 486
- Newport News, 482
- Loudoun County, 442
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for last week was 900,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 282,088 initial claims during the same week last year.