For Release:
March 18, 2021
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 486-2624

Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for Week Ending March 13th

~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims increased 13% from the previous filing week as continued claims declined during that period ~

RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the number of initial claims filed during the year since pandemic employment impacts began to be felt in March 2020 exceeded the total number filed during the previous three economic recessions.

For the filing week ending March 13, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 15,525. The latest claims figure was an increase of 1,789 claimants from the previous week. This brought the total number of claims filed since the March 21, 2020 filing week to 1,508,365, compared to the 477,600 average filed during the previous three economic recessions since 1990.

For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 59,976, which was a 3.7% decrease from the previous week, but 38,640 higher than the 21,336 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 ( that is updated no later than the following Monday after the weekly claims press release.


Nationwide, in the week ending March 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 770,000, an increase of 45,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 13,000 from 712,000 to 725,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 746,496 in the week ending March 13, an increase of 24,318 (or 3.4 percent) from the previous week. There were 251,416 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. Looking at preliminary data, most states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Ohio’s preliminary weekly change (-14,700) was the largest decrease among states. West Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (-3,602) was the second largest decrease. Georgia’s preliminary weekly change (-3,035) was the third largest decrease. South Carolina’s preliminary weekly change (-2,728) was the fourth largest decrease. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (+10,103) was the third largest increase.