Thursday, September 28, 2023

Weekly unemployment claims in Virginia top 84,000

More than 84,000 Virginians filed unemployment claims last week week, according to new data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The number of new claims filed in Virginia was released Thursday. Claims had dropped by nearly 20% from the previous week, when nearly 105,000 Virginians filed unemployment claims.

But the number is still a huge increase compared to filings before the coronavirus outbreak began pummeling the state last month, forcing non-essential businesses to shut down. Since March 15, nearly 500,000 people have filed for jobless benefits in Virginia.

Nationally, 4.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. Over the last five weeks, approximately 26 million people have filed for jobless aid, or about one in six U.S. workers.

In Virginia, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has come under growing pressure from Republican leaders and business owners to begin the process of re-opening Virginia, a month after he ordered non-essential businesses to close and residents to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus.

Last week, Northam extended his order to keep nonessential businesses closed through May 8. The order covers restaurant dining areas, fitness centers, hair salons, museums and a host of other recreational and entertainment businesses.

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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