New Jobless Claims Increased Last Week in Va.

Initial unemployment claims increased across the state last week, while continued claims dropped slightly, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday.

For the filing week ending March 6, 13,736 people filed new claims for unemployment insurance, up from 12,155 the previous week. Meanwhile, 62,269 people filed continued claims, marking a 2.7% decrease from the previous week but still far higher than the same week in 2020, which saw 22,714 continued claims. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must file weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.

“For the second consecutive week, initial claims for unemployment benefits increased in Virginia,” said Dominique Johnson, a research associate at Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy, in a statement. “More than 10,000 weekly claims has almost become the norm. But when compared to the same week last year, two weeks before the COVID-19 spike in unemployment, initial claims were less than 2,600. While down considerably from the peak of nearly 150,000 claims filed in the first week of April 2020, a return to pre-pandemic levels will take some time.”


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