For Release:
February 22, 2024
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Virginia Unemployment Insurance Weekly Initial Claims at 2,272; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services Leading Industry for Claims

~ Seasonally unadjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance down from the previous filing week, with continued claims higher over that period ~

RICHMOND—Virginia Works (the Virginia Department of Workforce Development and Advancement) announced today that the number of initial unemployment insurance claims decreased in the latest filing week to 2,272 and was at typical pre-pandemic volumes.

For the filing week ending February 17, seasonally unadjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance in Virginia totaled 2,272, which was a decrease of 299 claimants from the previous week. Continued weeks claimed totaled 15,817, which was an increase of 306 claimants from the previous week and an increase of 36 percent from the 11,675 continued claims from the comparable week last year. An industry was reported for ninety-three percent of continued claims. Of those, over half (57 percent) of continued claims were from administrative and support and waste management (2,228), professional, scientific, and technical services (2,081), construction (1,535), manufacturing (1,334), and health care and social assistance (1,296). 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 February 17, the U.S. advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 201,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 212,000 to 213,000. The advance number of actual U.S. initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 197,932 in the week ending February 17, a decrease of 26,053 (or -11.6 percent) from the previous week. There were 211,007 initial claims in the comparable week in 2023.

Looking at preliminary data, most U.S. states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. California’s preliminary weekly change (-8,584) was the largest decrease. Kentucky’s preliminary weekly change (-3,655) was the second largest decrease. Michigan’s preliminary weekly change (-1,907) was the third largest decrease. New York’s preliminary weekly change (-1,458) was the fourth largest decrease. Virginia had the eleventh largest decrease (-533).