(Updated 2:25 p.m.) After a surge of new jobless claims seeking unemployment benefits in April, Fairfax County is seeing a steady decline in initial unemployment claims.
Roughly 5,300 initial unemployment claims were filed in the county for the week of May 16 — a drop from 7,000 during the week of May 2, according to the latest data from the Virginia Employment Commission.
Meanwhile, continued unemployment claims — now at 47,000 for the week of May 16 — are rising less quickly in the county.
The county’s unemployment trends mirror statewide data.
More from the VEC:
For the filing week ending May 16, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 44,699. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 7,440 claimants from the previous week. The weekly total was the lowest since before the initial spike in unemployment insurance claims during the March 21 filing week.
For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 403,557, up 2.8% from the previous week and 385,380 higher than the 18,177 continued claims from the comparable week last year.
The continued claims total is mainly comprised of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far, continued claims during the May 16 filing equaled 56% of all initial claims filed during the pandemic. This percentage was a significant drop-off from the previous week.
VEC’s preliminary data indicate that the pandemic has hurt the accommodation and food service industry the most.
Workers in that industry “continued to see the greatest percentage of continued claims for unemployment benefits” for the May 16 filing week, VEC said. “Moreover, claimants in that industry comprised over a quarter of pre-pandemic payroll employment.”
“Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 7.3 percentage points in April to 10.6 percent, which is 7.7 percentage points above the rate from a year ago,” according to VEC.
Data and image via Virginia Employment Commission