For Release:
February 3, 2022
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims for Week Ending January 29, 2022

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

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

For the filing week ending January 29, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 2,157. The latest claims figure was an increase of 217 claimants from the previous week. Over half of initial claims that had a self-reported industry were in administrative and waste services, construction, retail trade, health care and social assistance, and professional and technical services. 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 7,439, which was a decrease of 104 claims from the previous week and 89% lower than the 67,337 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 29, the advance U.S. figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 238,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 260,000 to 261,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 257,002 in the week ending January 29, a decrease of 11,728 (or -4.4 percent) from the previous week. There were 849,650 initial claims in the comparable week in 2021. Looking at preliminary data, most states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Ohio’s preliminary weekly change  (-5,093) was the largest decrease. Kentucky’s preliminary weekly change (-2,330) was the second largest decrease. Illinois’s preliminary weekly change (-2,106) was the third largest decrease. Alabama’s weekly change (-1,574) was the fourth largest decrease. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (+438) was the seventh largest increase.