52K Virginians filed jobless claims last week
More than 392,000 Virginians have filed for unemployment since pandemic began
More than 52,000 Virginians filed initial claims for unemployment last week, according to the Virginia Employment Commission, a decrease of approximately 7,000 jobless claims from the week prior.
“Though the 12.6% weekly decline indicates that the volume of initial claims has retreated from its recent peak, it may not return to pre-pandemic levels for some time,” VEC Economist Timothy Aylor said in a statement.
Although the number of initial claims for unemployment decreased, the number of Virginians who have continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits reached 392,673 last week — a 4% increase from the previous week. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file unemployment claims each week in order to continue receiving benefits.
More than 2.98 million people in the United States filed initial claims for unemployment last week, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, marking a total of more than 36 million Americans who have filed jobless claims during the last eight weeks in the wake of the economic devastation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the May 9 filing week, the hospitality and food service sectors continued to see the greatest percentage of initial claims for unemployment — 19% of those reporting.
“This reflects impacts of public health and safety measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Aylor said in a statement. “However, that percentage has declined since March 21, when about 45% of initial claims filed were in those industries.”
The regions of the state that have been most impacted continue to Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Below are the top 10 localities, listed by number of initial unemployment claims, for the week ending May 9:
- Fairfax County, 6,272
- Prince William County, 3,098
- Virginia Beach, 2,542
- Loudoun County, 1,980
- Chesterfield County, 1,912
- Richmond, 1,910
- Henrico County, 1,876
- Norfolk, 1,695
- Newport News, 1,468
- Chesapeake, 1,390
Last week’s U.S. claims were down by 195,000. In the week ending April 25, 23 states reported that 3.4 million people are claiming federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides temporary benefits for people who are not eligible for regular or traditional unemployment insurance.
Thirteen states reported 79,538 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which provides up to an additional 13 weeks of regular or traditional unemployment insurance benefits to those who have exhausted their eligibility.
The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 15.7% for the week that ended May 2, a 0.3% increase from the previous week.
The states with the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending on April 25 were California, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Georgia, Vermont, New York, Connecticut and Washington.
States with the largest increases in initial claims for the week that ended on May 2 were Oklahoma, Maryland, New Jersey, Maine and Puerto Rico, while the largest decreases were in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Washington and Pennsylvania.