In one week, Va. unemployment has doubled
More Virginians filed for unemployment in last two weeks than the entire previous year.
A record-breaking 112,497 Virginians filed initial claims for unemployment last week, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday. That’s an increase of 66,220 claimants since last week, when 46,277 people filed for benefits.
In the last two weeks, more Virginians have filed for unemployment than in the entire previous year. Nearly 159,000 Virginians filed claims in the last two weeks, compared with about 135,000 in 2019.
According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics released Thursday, more than 114,000 Virginians have lost their jobs in the past two weeks due to coronavirus furloughs and layoffs. Across the country, more than 6.6 million people have filed for unemployment benefits, twice the number of workers who had filed last week.
In Virginia, retail and the hospitality industry has been hard-hit, but government employees and health care workers have also faced furloughs during the past few days. Bon Secours Mercy Health furloughed 700 people on Tuesday and Chesterfield County furloughed 500 the same day.
According to the Virginia Employment Commission’s weekly report Thursday, the state saw a 5,000% increase in claims during the week ending March 28 compared with the comparable 2019 week, due to the collapse related to COVID-19 spread.
The worst-hit communities, with more than 1,000 additional people filing for unemployment last week compared to the previous week, are in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, the Richmond region, Roanoke and Danville, according to VEC.
Here are the top 10 localities, listed by number of claims in the week ending March 28. The previous week’s number of claims is in parentheses.
- Fairfax County, 12,109 (4,345)
- Virginia Beach, 7,386 (3,314)
- Prince William County, 5,863 (2,222)
- Loudoun County, 4,561 (1,622)
- Richmond, 4,504 (3,070)
- Chesterfield County, 4,219 (1,970)
- Henrico County, 4,145 (2,096)
- Norfolk, 3,446 (1,763)
- Chesapeake, 2,919 (1,265)
- Newport News 2,902 (1,235)