For Release:
August 6, 2020
Contact:
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 486-2624

Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for Week Ending August 1st

~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims fell by 44.3% from the previous filing week as continued claims fell by 3.9% during that period ~

RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the latest number of weekly initial claims filed fell to their lowest level since mid-March.

For the filing week ending August 1, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 23,918, reversing recent weeks’ trend of rising claims. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 19,048 claimants from the previous week and fell well below the 46,277 filed during the March 21, 2020 filing week—the beginning of the current period of highly elevated weekly unemployment claims figures.

For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 331,401, down 13,425 from the previous week, but 311,613 higher than the 19,788 continued claims from the comparable week last year. They have trended downward in the last month and fell to their lowest level since April during the most recent filing week. 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. 

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.

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Nationwide, in the week ending August 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,186,000, a decrease of 249,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 1,434,000 to 1,435,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 984,192 in the week ending August 1, a decrease of 222,852 (or -18.5 percent) from the previous week. There were 179,879 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019. Looking at preliminary data, all states except Rhode Island (which reported an increase of seven claims) reported decreases while seven states reported weekly decreases of 10,000 or more on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (-16,976) was the second largest drop among states after Florida (-17,507). Other decreases over 10,000 included California (-16,123), Texas (-14,864), Georgia (-12,289), New Jersey (-12,228), and New York (-11,309).

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