June 4, 2020
Economic Information & Analytics Division
Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for Week Ending May 30th
~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims remained highly elevated but decreased by twenty percent during the latest filing week ~
RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the total number of Virginia initial claims filed from mid-March through the May 30, 2020 filing week was nearly 800,000, which is greater than half of total Northern Virginia metro area nonfarm employment.
For the filing week ending May 30, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 31,379. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 7,863 claimants from the previous week. The weekly total was the lowest 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 pandemic. Continued claims during the May 30 filing week equaled 50% of all initial claims filed during the pandemic 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 (PUA), 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.
For additional information on who is claiming unemployment insurance in Virginia, access the VEC’s U.I. claims data dashboard (https://www.vec.virginia.gov/ui-claims-dashboard) that is updated no later than the following Monday after the weekly claims press release.
Nationwide, In the week ending May 30, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,877,000, a decrease of 249,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 3,000 from 2,123,000 to 2,126,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 1,603,000 in the week ending May 30, a decrease of 314,604 (or -16.4 percent) from the previous week. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 23 were in Maine (+11,941), Oklahoma (+10,274), Michigan (+7,859), Kentucky (+6,417), and Oregon (+4,913), while the largest decreases were in Washington (-90,683), Florida (-49,993), California (-41,169), New York (-34,875), and Illinois (-14,517).