For Release:
April 16, 2020
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for week ending April 11th

~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims remained at highly elevated levels but fell by nearly a third from the previous filing week ~

RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that it continued to process initial claims for unemployment insurance at a record pace as over 100,000 more claims were filed in the week ending April 11 according to figures released today.

For the filing week ending April 11, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 104,619. This brings the most recent four-week (March 21, March 28, April 4, and April 11) total of weekly initial claims filings to 410,762, which is only 67,000 fewer than the average of all initial claims filed during the last three economic recessions. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 42,750 claimants from the previous week. The 29% decrease indicates that initial claims volumes may have peaked during the April 4 filing week, following its dizzying ascent in late March.

Initial claims measure emerging unemployment and the recent increase in initial claims in the Commonwealth is clearly attributable to impacts from the COVID-19 virus. The accommodation and food service industries have comprised the majority of these initial claims. Because of their prevalence in those and other affected industries like retail and health care, younger workers and female workers have been disproportionally impacted. The number of initial claims filed during the week ending April 11, 2020 was 45.6 times higher than the comparable 2019 week—an increase of 102,326 claims.

For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 236,791, up 104,107 from the previous week and 218,036 higher than the 19,255 continued claims from the comparable week last year. The continued claims total overtook the initial claims total in recent weeks as it accumulated those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance. 


Nationwide, the number of seasonally adjusted initial claims totaled 5,245,000, a decrease of 1,370,000 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 4,971,823 in the week ending April 11, a decrease of 1,239,576 (or -20.0 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had projected an increase of 59,534 (or 1.0 percent) from the previous week. There were 196,364 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019.

Most states showed decreases in the most recent week while nine reported weekly increases. Looking at advance-issue, seasonally unadjusted numbers, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 11 were in Colorado (+58,747), New York (+51,498), Florida (+11,408), Missouri (+4,327), South Carolina (+1,113), North Carolina (+512), and Connecticut (+498). Virginia reported the ninth-greatest weekly decline in claims while California reported nearly a quarter million fewer claims over the week.