August 24, 2023
Economic Information & Analytics Division
Virginia Unemployment Insurance Weekly Initial Claims at 2,311; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services Leading Industry for Claims
~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims lower from the previous filing week, with continued claims unchanged over that period ~
RICHMOND—The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced today that the number of initial claims fell a third lower in the latest filing week to 2,311 and returned to typical pre-Pandemic volumes experienced in 2019.
For the filing week ending August 19, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 2,311, which was a decrease of 1,149 claimants from the previous week. Continued weeks claimed totaled 13,715, which was five claims higher than the previous week and an increase of 9.3% from the 12,543 continued claims from the comparable week last year. Ninety-three percent of claimants self-reported an associated industry, of those reported over half (58 percent) of continued claims were from professional, scientific, and technical services (2,006), administrative and support and waste management (1,910), manufacturing (1,267), health care and social assistance (1,230), and retail trade (1,006). 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.
In the week ending August 19, the advance U.S. figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 230,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 239,000 to 240,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 198,357 in the week ending August 19, a decrease of 15,446 (or -7.2 percent) from the previous week. There were 179,220 initial claims in the comparable week in 2022. Looking at preliminary data, most U.S. states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Ohio’s preliminary weekly change (-5,899) was the largest decrease. New Jersey’s preliminary weekly change (-1,308) was the second largest decrease. Illinois’s preliminary weekly change (-1,218) was the third largest decrease. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (-1,050) was the fourth largest decrease. Driven by its catastrophic wildfires, Hawaii reported the largest weekly increase (+3,679).
 Note: Advance claims are not directly comparable to claims reported in prior weeks. Advance claims are reported by the state liable for paying the unemployment compensation, whereas previous weeks reported claims reflect claimants by state of residence. In addition, claims reported as "workshare equivalent" in the previous week are added to the advance claims as a proxy for the current week's "workshare equivalent" activity.