Va. sees highest number of initial jobless claims since July 2020
More than 28K Virginians filed new claims last week
Last week, more than 28,000 Virginians filed initial unemployment claims — a 44.5% jump from the previous week. This is the greatest number of initial claims reported since July 2020.
During the week ending Jan. 9, 28,227 Virginians filed initial claims, which was an increase of 8,697 from the previous week. This could in part “reflect seasonal spikes in layoffs seen after the holidays,” according to the Virginia Employment Commission.
Last week, 63,687 Virginians remained unemployed, a 0.2% increase from the previous week but 40,110 higher than the 23,577 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.
“Over half of claims were in the accommodation/food service, health care, administrative and waste services and retail trade industries,” according to the VEC. “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.”
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. 9:
- Fairfax County, 1,609
- Norfolk, 1,528
- Virginia Beach, 1,262
- Prince William County, 1,260
- Richmond, 1,237
- Alexandria, 836
- Portsmouth, 772
- Newport News, 713
- Chesapeake, 704
- Chesterfield County, 588
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for last week was 965,000, an increase of 181,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 338,550 initial claims during the same week last year.
U.S. unemployment rates aren’t expected to reach pre-crisis lows until some time in 2024, according to predictions released Thursday by S&P Global Senior Economist Satyam Panday during the Virginia Bankers Association and Virginia Chamber’s 2021 Financial Forecast presentation.