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New Virginia unemployment claims appear to be leveling off

virginia economy
(© vepar5 –

New unemployment claims filed with the Virginia Employment Commission were down 25.3 percent last week, according to data released on Thursday.

For the filing week ending Jan. 16, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 21,073. While still elevated compared to recent months’ trends, the latest claims figure was a decrease of 7,154 claimants from the previous week, which had seen 28,227 new claims.

The recent upsurge that appears to be now leveling off had begun after the holidays.

The baseline week of late had been the filing week ending Dec. 26, which had seen unadjusted initial claims in Virginia at 11,890.

Elevated levels in recent weeks may have, in part, reflected seasonal spikes in layoffs often seen after the holidays, as well as reapplications for benefits following the government’s renewal of supplemental benefits until March 14 as part of the latest stimulus package.

For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 63,839, a 0.2 percent increase from the previous week.

For comparison, the continued weeks claimed total for the week ending Dec. 26 was 63,443.

Over half of claims in this week’s report that had a self-reported industry were in the accommodation/food service, administrative and waste services, retail trade, and healthcare/social assistance industries. 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.

augusta free press
augusta free press