By Brandon Martin
The number of initial unemployment claims drastically fell in Virginia for the most recent filing week, according to the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).
As of April 10, the numbers were also 95 percent lower than in the comparable week in 2020 when pandemic employment impacts were near their peak.
For the filing week ending April 10, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 5,034. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 23,492 claimants from the previous week. This brought the total number of claims filed since the March 27, 2020 filing week to 1,587,729, compared to the 477,600 average filed during the previous three economic recessions since 1990.
The pace of initial claims in Martinsville dropped by 137 claimants during the filing week. The city ended the week with only 16 new claims compared to 153 the week prior. Similarly, Henry and Patrick counties also had a lower amount. Initial claims in Henry County fell from 88 claims to 19 claims. Patrick County posted only had three new claims during the week, a downward trend from 56 in the previous week.
Statewide, the continued weeks claimed totaled 57,371, which was unchanged from the previous week, but 179,420 lower than the 236,791 continued claims from the comparable week last year. Over half of claims that had a self-reported industry were in the accommodation/food service, administrative and waste services, retail trade, and healthcare/social assistance industries.
Continued claims in Henry County rose from 351 claimants to a total of 377. Martinsville also had an increase in its continued claims, finishing with 217 claims during the week compared to 198 in the week prior. Patrick County was the only locality of the three to show a decrease in continued claims. The numbers in Patrick decreased, from 98 claimants to 95 claimants.
The weekly job search at the Virginia Employment Commission will be effective with the week ending June 5, 2021. Claimants must search and report two job searches per week.