The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the number of continued claims filed during the Feb. 13 filing week continued its three-month trend of small weekly changes, according to the latest figures.
Henry County had continued claims drop to 371 from 427 during the week ending Feb. 6. During the same period, Martinsville showed a decrease of three continued claims and Patrick County had a decrease of 12. Martinsville now sits at 189 continued claims with Patrick County at 93 individuals continuing to draw unemployment.
For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 62,624 statewide, which was a 3.8 percent decrease from the previous week, but 40,143 higher than the 22,481 continued claims from the comparable week last year. Over half of claims that had a self-reported industry were in the accommodation/food service, retail trade, administrative and waste services, and healthcare/social assistance industries. The continued claims total consisted of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Henry County also had the biggest decrease of the three in initial claims filed during the week. The county went from 62 claims to 52 for the week ending Feb. 13. Martinsville had a modest decrease of six claims as well. The city had 38 total initial claims for the week. Patrick County was the only locality of the three with an increase of initial claims, climbing to 18 initial claims from 16 the week before.
The figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 14,901. Remaining elevated compared to recent months’ trends, the latest claims figure was an increase of 698 claimants from the previous week. Elevated levels this winter may have, in part, reflected reapplications for benefits following the government’s renewal of supplemental benefits until March 14 as part of the latest stimulus package.
Nationwide, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 861,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 55,000 from 793,000 to 848,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 862,351 in the week, a decrease of 5,702 (or -0.7 percent) from the previous week. There were 209,336 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. Looking at preliminary data, most states reported decreases on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Texas’s preliminary weekly change (-12,428) was the largest decrease among states. Rhode Island’s preliminary weekly change (-6,269) was the second largest decrease. Georgia’s preliminary weekly change (-5,882) was the third largest decrease. Michigan’s preliminary weekly change (-4,374) was the fourth largest decrease. Virginia’s preliminary weekly change (+7,064) was the third largest increase.