According to data from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), Henry County had 3,129 individuals unemployed, for a rate of 12.8 percent, in April, and the most recent data available.
In March, there were 972 were unemployed in the county, for an unemployment rate of 4 percent, data showed.
In April, 2019, the VEC reported that 703 were unemployed, with a rate of 2.9 percent.
Also according to the VEC in April, there were 985 were unemployed in the City of Martinsville, for a rate of 16.9 percent.
That rate is more than three times higher than March numbers of 285 unemployed and a rate of 5.1 percent, data suggested.
In April 2019, there were193 unemployed in Martinsville, and a rate of 3.5 percent, according to the VEC.
Additionally, VEC data showed that the total number of Virginia initial claims filed from mid-March through the May 30, 2020 filing week was nearly 800,000, which is greater than half of total Northern Virginia metro area nonfarm employment.
For the filing week ending May 30, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 31,379. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 7,863 claimants from the previous week. The weekly total was the lowest since before the initial spike in unemployment insurance claims during the March 21 filing week.
For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 398,411, down 4,515 from the previous week but 379,958 higher than the 18,453 continued claims from the comparable week last year. The continued claims total is mainly comprised of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continued claims during the May 30 filing week equaled 50% of all initial claims filed during the pandemic to this point. This percentage has trended downward in recent weeks.
Pandemic Unemployment claims accounted for 8,685 of the initial claims and 190,915 of the continued claims were Pandemic Unemployment continued claims during the most recent filing week.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a provision within the CARES Act, is a program that provides unemployment insurance benefits to those who are not covered by the regular/traditional Virginia state UI program. It provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency. Nationwide, for the week ending May 30, 36 states reported 623,073 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.