Go. New jobless claims settle after last week’s surge

VEC reports 8,717 files filed, down 7,000 from the previous week


September 30, 2021


Kate andrews

New unemployment claims for the week ending September 25, 2021. Image courtesy of the Virginia Employment Commission

After a 300% increase in new jobless claims the week before, the state saw numbers return to relatively normal levels during the filing week ending Sept. 25, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday. Last week, 8,717 people filed initial applications, down 7,245 from the week before.

Continuing claims, however, rose 9,672 last week to a total of 47,241, 73% lower than the 173,713 continuing claims the same week last year. For the same week in 2020, 9,377 people filed new unemployment claims, 7% more than last week. People receiving unemployment benefits through the VEC must submit weekly unemployment claims in order to continue receiving benefits.

The majority of claimants who applied for benefits last week reported being in the following industries: health care and social assistance; administrative services and waste; retail; and accommodation / catering. The areas of the state that have been hit the hardest are still Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads. Nationally, the figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims last week was 362,000, an increase of 11,000 from the revised level of the previous week. There were 732,912 initial claims in the comparable week last year.

Meanwhile, a report from the Joint Audit and Legislative Review Commission said earlier this month that the VEC had “suspended” the collection of overpayments from job seekers as it settled more backlogs of disputed claims and appeals, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The agency came under close scrutiny this year as it was on court orders to deal with a backlog of past claims by Labor Day. Although the VEC was able to meet this deadline, other disputed claims accumulated during this period. Additionally, WTVR 6 reported that the VEC’s launch of an updated complaints system, scheduled for October 1, has now been postponed until November.

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