The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) released data that indicated the number of initial claims filed from mid-March through the Sept. 5 filing period totaled 1,136,973, which was nearly 28 percent of pre-pandemic, payroll employment, according to recent figures.
Henry County saw a slight increase of initial claims from the Aug. 29 numbers, with an additional 72 claims. The numbers are down significantly from Aug. 1, when 200 initial claims were filed.
Martinsville more than doubled its previous week’s numbers, with 13 initial claims filed compared to the previous six claims. The week almost reached the highest amount since Aug. 15, when 14 claims were filed.
Patrick County’s initial claims numbers dropped by 9 from their Aug. 29 numbers, netting only 6 new claims during the week. From Aug. 8-29, the number of new initial claims filed per week ranged from 15-18 claims. The Aug. 1 numbers still were the highest during the period, at 20 during the week.
The number of continued claims from the previous week dropped in Henry County, with a decrease of 209 claims filed. The Aug. 1 numbers were the highest during the month-long period at 2,654. The Sept. 5 numbers dropped by 946 during the month.
Martinsville’s continued claims also dropped to 153 from 161 the previous week. Like the county, the continued claims peaked on Aug. 1, with 201 claims.
Patrick County’s continued claims dropped by 142 from Aug. 1, but increased by four from 238 on Aug. 29. It was the second consecutive week for growth since Aug. 22.
For the filing week ending Sept. 5, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 11,135. The latest claims figure was an increase of 830 claimants from the previous week, continuing the overall trend of lower claims volumes following April’s peak.
In the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 217,485, which was a 6.8 percent decrease from the previous week, but 200,069 higher than the 17,416 continued claims from the comparable week last year. The continued claims total consists mainly of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.