Unemployment claims may have slowed down this week compared to previous weeks, but here’s the projection: double-digit unemployment rates in many cities and counties across the state by the end of this month.
That projection was made Thursday by Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy.
In Virginia, nonseasonally adjusted unemployment claims fell from the record 147,369 observed last week to 104,619.
Of the 133 independent cities and counties in Virginia, only seven experienced an increase.
Patrick County had the largest numerical increase, from 205 to 241. Fairfax County (-6,847), Virginia Beach (-2,868), and Prince William County (-2,825) experienced the largest numerical decreases, according to the center.
As social distancing measures remain in effect, unemployment claims continue to spread to industries not initially impacted. Virginia’s Employment Commission attributed a significant portion of claims this week to layoffs in the mining industry.
The center estimates March unemployment in the state likely exceeded 10 percent and will go up to 13 percent the end of April “if layoffs continue near their current pace.”
As far as the nation is concerned, the newly released seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows 4.9 million individuals filed initial claims nationally for the week ending April 11, a decline of 1.2 million claims from the previous week.
Over the last four weeks, more than 20 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance.
“The number of initial unemployment claims over the last four weeks is staggering, wiping away almost all of the job gains of the last decade,” said Robert McNab, director of the Dragas Center.”
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