For Release:
January 20, 2022
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for Week Ending January 15, 2022

~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims rose slightly from the previous filing week, remaining at near historic lows during that period ~

RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the number of continued claims fell to pre-pandemic levels during the most recent filing week.

For the filing week ending January 15, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 2,849. The latest claims figure was an increase of 406 claimants from the previous week. Over half of initial claims that had a self-reported industry were in construction, administrative and waste services, retail trade, and health care and social assistance. 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 7,059, which was a decrease of 1,131 claims from the previous week and 89% lower than the 63,839 continued claims from the comparable week last year. 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.


In the week ending January 15, the advance U.S. figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was s 286,000, an increase of 55,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 230,000 to 231,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 337,417 in the week ending January 15, a decrease of 83,418 (or -19.8 percent) from the previous week. There were 937,313 initial claims in the comparable week in 2021. Looking at preliminary data, most states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. New York’s preliminary weekly change (-14,011) was the largest decrease. Missouri’s preliminary weekly change (-7,489) was the second largest decrease. Texas’s preliminary weekly change (-6,123) was the third largest decrease. Washington’s weekly change (-5,925) was the fourth largest decrease. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (-60) was the 47th largest decrease.