For Release:
October 21, 2021
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 486-2624

Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for Week Ending October 16th

~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims decreased from the previous filing week as continued claims rose during that period ~

RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the number of initial claims filed fell during the most recent filing week.

For the filing week ending October 16, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 1,967. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 7,380 claimants from the previous week. Eligibility for benefits is determined on a weekly basis, and so not all weekly claims filed result in a benefit payment. This is because the initial claims numbers represent claim applications; claims are then reviewed for eligibility and legitimacy.

For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 58,421, which was an increase of 11,954 claims from the previous week but 55% lower than the 129,300 continued claims from the comparable week last year. Over half of claims that had a self-reported industry were in the health care and social assistance, retail trade, accommodation and food services, and administrative and waste services 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 October 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 290,000, a decrease of 6,000 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 3,000 from 293,000 to 296,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 256,304 in the week ending October 16, a decrease of 24,293 (or -8.7 percent) from the previous week. There were 759,081 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. Looking at preliminary data, more states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (-7,159) was the largest decrease. Michigan’s preliminary weekly change (-4,457) was the second largest decrease. Pennsylvania’s preliminary weekly change (-4,314) was the third largest decrease. Texas’s was the fourth largest decrease (-3,246). Ohio’s decrease (-2,796) was the fifth largest weekly decrease. California had the largest increase (+17,570).