Local unemployment rates continue to drop, according to October figures released by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).
The City of Martinsville dropped below 10 percent in October, with 534 workers unemployed. The number decreased nearly two percent from the previous month’s number, which sat at 11.4 percent. The number is still drastically higher than last October, when the city had an employment rate of 3.9 percent. The city’s civilian workforce dropped by 58 people over the month.
The numbers in Henry County also dropped to 6.1 percent from 7.3 percent last month. The county has a civilian workforce of 23,522. This has dropped by 50 workers from the previous month. Since September, 305 individuals have found employment in the county. The unemployment rate is slightly double that of last October where the unemployment rate was three percent.
Patrick County’s unemployment rate also dropped slightly more than a percent, and the rate now sits at 4.8 percent. During the month, 75 individuals found employment. Patrick County’s civilian workforce also decreased but by a smaller margin with only 12 individuals leaving the workforce. The unemployment rate is approaching last year’s numbers when the county had a rate of 3.1 percent.
The VEC announced that the number of initial claims filed during the November 28 filing week fell to its lowest level since the pandemic’s employment effects began to be felt in mid-March.
For the filing week ending November 28, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 8,606. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 3,628 claimants from the previous week and fell to its lowest level since the March 14 filing week.
Continued weeks claimed totaled 72,305, which was a 10.9 percent decrease from the previous week, but 55,308 higher than the 16,997 continued claims from the comparable week last year. This drop indicated a continuation of its recent declining trend and was over 80 percent lower than its May 16 filing week peak.
The number of initial claims fell in Henry County from 54 to 38. This comes after a slight uptick of nine claims during a month-long drop. The number of continued claims also dropped by 72 claims. The county now has 540 continued claims compared to 1,040 a month ago.
The City of Martinsville only had two new claims during the filing week. This is a significant drop from 16 filed in the previous week. Last week was the highest number in a week over the month-long period. The number of continued claims in the city also dropped from 114 to 99.
Patrick County had six new claims in the week, but the county has remained relatively stable in the number of initial claims over the month, averaging 5-10 each week. The number of continued claims in the county remained the same as last week at 79. The county had previously seen a drop in continued claims every week since Oct. 24 when the county had 123 continued claims.