Virginia unemployment numbers continue upward trend as shutdown begins to ease
The total number of Virginians who have filed initial unemployment claims during Gov. Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 shutdown is approaching the 800,000 mark.
The latest word from the Virginia Employment Commission is that an additional 31,379 Virginians filed initial claims for the week ending May 30. That figure was a decrease of 7,863 claimants from the previous week, and was the lowest total since before the initial spike in unemployment insurance claims during the March 21 filing week.
For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 398,411, down 4,515 from the previous week but 379,958 higher than the 18,453 continued claims from the comparable week last year. The continued claims total is mainly comprised of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Continued claims during the May 30 filing week equaled 50 percent of all initial claims filed during the shutdown to this point.
This percentage has trended downward in recent weeks.
Pandemic Unemployment claims accounted for 8,685 of the initial claims and 190,915 of the continued claims were Pandemic Unemployment continued claims during the most recent filing week.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a provision within the CARES Act, is a program that provides unemployment insurance benefits to those who are not covered by the regular/traditional Virginia state UI program. It provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
Nationwide, for the week ending May 30, 36 states reported 623,073 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.