For Release:
May 6, 2021
Contact:
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 486-2624

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

~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims dropped by over two thirds from the previous filing week as continued claims increased during that period ~

RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the declining number of initial claims filed during the most recent filing week continued the pattern of recent weeks’ fluctuating claims volumes.

For the filing week ending May 1, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 12,231. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 25,125 claimants from the previous week. This brought the total number of claims filed since the March 21, 2020 filing week to 1,651,067, 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 55,195, which was an increase of 914 claims from the previous week, and 321,494 lower than the 376,689 continued claims from the comparable week last year. Over half of claims that had a self-reported industry were in the accommodation and food services, administrative and waste services, retail trade, and health care and 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 May 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was s 498,000, a decrease of 92,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 37,000 from 553,000 to 590,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 504,670 in the week ending May 1, a decrease of 107,390 (or -17.5 percent) from the previous week. There were 2,793,245 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. Looking at preliminary data, most states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (-23,909) was the largest decrease. New York’s preliminary weekly change (-12,148) was the second largest decrease. Florida’s preliminary weekly change (-9,662) was the third largest decrease.

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