Initial unemployment claims from Northern Virginia residents fell again last week as signs continued to indicate a stabilizing job market.
The Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday that 8,034 first-time claims for unemployment benefits were filed from Northern Virginia during the week ending May 30. That's down 23.5% from the prior week and the eighth straight week of declining claims since a peak of 47,708 during the week ended April 4.
However, the number of claims was still 20 times the 404 claims received during the week ended March 14, just before business shutdowns began in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Statewide, 31,379 initial claims were filed last week, down 20% from the prior week and also the lowest since the pandemic began. In total, 793,069 first-time claims have been filed with the VEC since mid-March, with 230,772 of those coming from Northern Virginia localities.
Also last week, Northern Virginia saw its first decline in continuing claims, or the number of claimants who remained unemployed. That fell to 114,611, down from 114,900 the prior week, indicating that about 108,000 residents who previously filed for unemployment had since returned to work. That reflects 48.5% of total claims filed before last week. The region entered the first phase of business reopenings on May 29.
Unemployment Claims by Locality
|LOCALITY||Week ending May 30||Total Since 3/15||Continuing Claims|
Statewide, continued claims totaled 398,411, down 4,515 from the previous week but 379,958 higher than the 18,453 continued claims from the comparable week in 2019.
Nationwide, seasonally adjusted initial claims totaled 1.88 million, down 249,000 from the previous week's revised level. Over 42 million Americans have filed unemployment claims since the pandemic's effects began in mid-March.