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Virginia unemployment claims continue to spike amid Northam lockdown

Virginia covid-19
(© Ingo Menhard –

The total number of continued unemployment claims filed in the week ending April 25 has surpassed 10 percent of private sector payroll employment in Virginia.

The figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia for the week ending April 25 was 72,488, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 341,295, up nearly 15 percent from the previous week and 322,665 higher than the 18,630 continued claims from the comparable week last year.

The total number of initial claims filed since the week ending March 14 is 496,197.

The continued claims total mainly comprised those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That total is more than 10 percent of private sector payroll employment in the Commonwealth.

The unemployment rate in Virginia in February, the last complete month ahead of the implementation of Gov. Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 lockdown, was 2.8 percent.

Although the young and female workers were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 lockdown layoffs in late March, the demographic composition of unemployment claimants has broadened to increasingly impact those in other groups.

In Virginia, older workers, male workers, and those in other minority groups grew slightly as a share of filings according to the most recent published data.

Story by Chris Graham

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