Monday, March 27, 2023

Unemployment claims may have slowed down this week, but experts predict rise in the coming weeks

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.”


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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