For Release:
March 25, 2021
Contact:
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 486-2624

Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for Week Ending March 20th

~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims rose 13.1% 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 most recent filing week were 60% lower than when  pandemic employment impacts first began to be felt a year earlier in March 2020.

For the filing week ending March 20, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 17,560. The latest claims figure was an increase of 2,035 claimants from the previous week. This brought the total number of claims filed since the March 21, 2020 filing week to 1,525,925, 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 58,233, which was a 2.9% decrease from the previous week, but 36,605 higher than the 21,628 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.

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Nationwide, in the week ending March 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 684,000, a decrease of 97,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 11,000 from 770,000 to 781,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 656,789 in the week ending March 20, a decrease of 100,412 (or -13.3 percent) from the previous week. There were 2,920,162 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. Looking at preliminary data, most states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Illinois’s preliminary weekly change (-56,347) was the largest decrease among states. Ohio’s preliminary weekly change (-46,445) was the second largest decrease. California’s preliminary weekly change (-13,464) was the third largest decrease. Florida’s preliminary weekly change (-6,448) was the fourth largest decrease. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (+12,707) was the largest increase.

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