For Release:
April 9, 2020
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for week ending April 4th

~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims continued their recent rise during the latest filing week ~

RICHMOND— In figures released today, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and its impact is also reflected in increasing levels of insured unemployment.

For the filing week ending April 4, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 147,369. This brings the sum of March 21, March 28, and April 4 weekly initial claims filings to 306,143, which equals all of the previous weeks' claims from 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined. The latest jump was an increase of 34,872 claimants from the previous week and may indicate a deceleration, or ‘flattening of the curve,’ after late-March’s steep trajectory of weekly increases.

Initial claims measure emerging unemployment and the continued increase in initial claims in the Commonwealth is clearly attributable to impacts from the COVID-19 virus. While accommodation and food service sectors initially were most affected, impacts have broadened to include more jobs in other sectors like manufacturing, transportation, and even certain types of health care. After weeks of unprecedented initial claims filing volumes, continued claims—or the number of persons continuing to claim unemployment benefits—have also begun climbing rapidly. For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 133,184, tripling the number from the previous week and 113,164 higher than 20,020 continued claims from the comparable week last year.

The numbers of initial claims filed during the week ending April 4, 2020 was 67.4 times higher than the comparable 2019 week—an increase of 145,182 claims.



Nationwide, the number of seasonally adjusted initial claims totalled 6,606,000, a decrease of 261,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 219,000 from 6,648,000 to 6,867,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 6,203,359 in the week ending April 4, an increase of 187,538 (or 3.1 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors indicated an increase of 432,645 (or 7.2 percent) from the previous week. There were 196,071 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019.

Most states showed slowing increases in the most recent week while some reported weekly declines. Looking at advanced, seasonally unadjusted numbers, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 4 were in: Georgia (+254,355), Michigan (+80,509), Arizona (+43,249), Texas (+37,647), Virginia (+37,261), Arkansas (+33,236), and Alabama (+24,623). While Virginia reported a large increase, it also showed among the most rapid slow-downs in the rate of growth.