The number of first-time unemployment claims from across Northern Virginia continues to slow but is closing in on 250,000 since the COVID-19 pandemic began causing business shutdowns in mid-March.
The Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday that 5,279 Northern Virginia residents filed initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending June 20. That was down 9.2% from the preceding week and marks the 11th straight week of declines since a high of 47,708 claims filed in the week ending April 4. However, it is still 10 times pre-pandemic levels. And the total number of first-time claims filed since March 15 from the region is now 248,942.
As more previously unemployed workers return to their jobs as businesses slowly reopen, the number of continued claims also declined, for the second straight week, and now stands at 107,906. That means about 135,000 Northern Virginians who filed claims have returned to work, comprising 55.7% of total claims since the pandemic began.
Unemployment claims data by locality
|LOCALITY||Week ending June 20||Total Since 3/15||Continuing Claims|
Statewide, 25,293 first-time claims were filed last week, down 7% from the week before. Total claims since the pandemic began are nearly 875,000. Continued claims declined last week about 11,000 to 375,579, meaning about 500,000 initial claimants have since found work. Statewide, continued claims peaked at just over 400,000 in mid-May and have been declining slowly since.
Nationwide, in the week ending June 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,480,000, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week's revised level. Nearly 45 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began.