Va. saw slight uptick in initial jobless claims last week
Since mid-March, more than 1.1M Virginians have filed initial unemployment claims
More than 15,000 Virginians filed initial jobless claims last week — an increase of more than 1,800 claims from the previous week, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.
“The increase in initial claims for unemployment benefits in Virginia reverses the trend of declining claims over the last two weeks,” Dominique Johnson, research associate with Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy, said in a statement. “With the volatility of unemployment claims over recent weeks, the uncertainty for Virginia’s economy remains high.”
The week before last, Virginia saw its initial unemployment claims fall by 46%. In Virginia, 265,225 people remained unemployed last week, which was essentially unchanged from the previous week, but 245,425 higher than the 19,800 continued claims from the same period last year. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.
“They had trended downward in recent months before leveling off in the most recent filing week,” VEC Senior Economist Timothy Aylor said in a statement. “The continued claims total is mainly comprised of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Since the pandemic began, however, more than 1.1 million Virginians have filed initial claims for unemployment.
“The number of initial claims filed from mid-March through the Aug. 15, 2020 filing week totaled 1,104,097 or 27% of pre-pandemic, payroll employment,” 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 Aug. 15:
- Fairfax County, 1,174
- Prince William County, 642
- Virginia Beach, 591
- Richmond, 575
- Norfolk, 516
- Newport News, 383
- Chesterfield County, 375
- Henrico County, 370
- Loudoun County, 352
- Chesapeake, 332
Although the number of initial claims filed in the U.S. dropped below 1 million the week before last, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that more than 1.1 million people had filed for unemployment last week.
“More than 28 million workers, or approximately 17% of the civilian labor force in July, received some form of unemployment benefits for the week of Aug. 1, highlighting the continuing challenge facing the national economy,” Robert McNab, director of the Dragas Center, said in a statement. “One week does not make a trend, but it does serve to illustrate the uncertainty of the recovery.”