May 27, 2021
Economic Information & Analytics Division
Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for Week Ending May 22nd
~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims decreased from the previous filing week as continued claims also decreased during that period ~
RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the number of initial claims filed during the most recent filing week continued the trend of recent weeks’ lower claims volumes.
For the filing week ending May 22, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 9,843. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 799 claimants from the previous week. This brought the total number of claims filed since the March 21, 2020 filing week to 1,682,822, 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 54,163, which was a decrease of 6,250 claims from the previous week, but 87% lower than the 402,926 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.
Nationwide, in the week ending May 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 406,000, a decrease of 38,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 444,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 420,472 in the week ending May 22, a decrease of 34,131 (or -7.5 percent) from the previous week. There were 1,902,793 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. Looking at preliminary data, most states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Washington’s preliminary weekly change (-8,059) was the largest decrease. New Jersey’s preliminary weekly change (-5,699) was the second largest decrease. Florida’s preliminary weekly change (-5,697) was the third largest decrease. Texas’s decline was the fourth largest decrease (-4,362). Virginia’s decrease (-122) was the 31st largest decrease.