For Release:
March 24, 2022
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims at 1,546; Administrative and Waste Services, Retail Trade, Health Care and Social Assistance, and Manufacturing Leading Industries for Claims

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

RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the number of initial claims nationwide fell to their lowest level since September 6, 1969, in the most recent filing week.

For the filing week ending March 19, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 1,546. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 308 claimants from the previous week. Over half of initial claims that had a self-reported industry were in administrative and waste services, retail trade, health care and social assistance, and manufacturing. 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 6,954, which was an increase of 270 claims from the previous week and was 88% lower than the 58,233 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 March 19, the advance U.S. figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 187,000, a decrease of 28,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since September 6, 1969 when it was 182,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 214,000 to 215,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 181,087 in the week ending March 19, a decrease of 22,824 (or -11.2 percent) from the previous week. There were 651,153 initial claims in the comparable week in 2021. Looking at preliminary data, most states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. California’s preliminary weekly change (-5,341) was the largest decrease. Michigan’s preliminary weekly change (-4,767) was the second largest decrease. Kentucky’s preliminary weekly change (-2,593) was the third largest decrease. Illinois’s weekly change (-2,134) was the fourth largest decrease. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (-157) was the 21st largest decrease.