January 21, 2021
Economic Information & Analytics Division
Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for Week Ending January 16th
~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims sharply declined by 25.3% from the previous filing week as continued claims were essentially unchanged during that period ~
RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the number of initial claims filed during the January 16 filing week remained elevated when compared to recent months’ levels, according to figures released today.
For the filing week ending January 16, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 21,073. While still elevated compared to recent months’ trends, the latest claims figure was a decrease of 7,154 claimants from the previous week. Elevated levels in recent weeks may have, in part, reflected seasonal spikes in layoffs often seen after the holidays, as well as reapplications for benefits following the government’s renewal of supplemental benefits until March 14 as part of the latest stimulus package.
For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 63,839, which was a 0.2% increase from the previous week, but 41,621 higher than the 22,218 continued claims from the comparable week last year. Over half of claims that had a self-reported industry were in the accommodation/food service, administrative and waste services, retail trade, and healthcare/social assistance industries. 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.
Nationwide, in the week ending January 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 900,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 39,000 from 965,000 to 926,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 960,668 in the week ending January 16, a decrease of 151,303 (or -13.6 percent) from the previous week. There were 282,088 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. Looking at preliminary data, most states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. California’s preliminary weekly change (-58,655) was the largest decrease among states. Texas’s preliminary weekly change (-13,890) was the second largest decrease. New York’s preliminary weekly change (-12,212) was the third largest decrease. Pennsylvania’s preliminary weekly change (-9,638) was the fourth largest decrease. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (-3,886) was the 16th largest decrease.