Va. saw nearly 20% drop in initial jobless claims last week
More than 64K Virginians remain unemployed, however
Initial jobless claims filed last week fell 19.8% from the previous week, according to figures released Thursday by the Virginia Employment Commission but continued claims slightly increased.
During the week ending Feb. 20, 11,944 Virginians filed initial unemployment claims, compared to 14,901 from the week prior.
Last week, 64,575 Virginians remained unemployed; that represents 42,082 more claims filed than the same period in 2020. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
“Elevated levels in recent weeks may have, in part, reflected 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.
More than half of the claimants who filed for benefits last week (and the prior three 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 Feb. 20:
- Richmond, 497
- Virginia Beach, 493
- Norfolk, 476
- Fairfax County, 457
- Prince William County, 338
- Newport News, 278
- Chesapeake, 267
- Alexandria, 251
- Portsmouth, 233
- Hampton, 223
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims last week was 730,000, a decrease of 111,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 199,278 initial claims during the same week last year.