Nearly 1,000 unemployment claims filed in Page County in four weeks

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Page County, Virginia
Page Valley News will have continuing coverage of the Coronavirus' impact on Page County

~ PVN staff report

An April 9 report issued by the Virginia Employment Commission shows that 937 unemployment claims were filed in Page County over the past month — 850 of those in just the last two weeks.

In less than a month since Governor Ralph Northam’s March 12 executive order shutting down all non-essential businesses — 306,143 unemployment claims were filed statewide. The VEC stated in yesterday’s press release that the four-week figure “equals all of the previous weeks claims from 2018, 2019 and 2020 combined.”

For the week ending April 4, Virginia saw 147,369 claims filed statewide in just seven days.

Page County unemployment insurance claims grew as follows over the past four weeks:

  • Week ending March 14 — 7 claims
  • Week ending March 21 — 80 claims
  • Week ending March 28 — 294 claims
  • Week ending April 4 — 556 claims
  • Four-week TOTAL — 937

In the last four weeks, 1,358 unemployment claims have been made in Warren County, and 1,311 in Shenandoah County.

As of February, Page County’s unemployment rate stood at 5.4 percent. The VEC reported 656 unemployed among a workforce of 12,118. In February 2019, the county’s jobless rate stood at 5.8 percent — the same rate as January 2020.

“Initial claims measure emerging unemployment and the continued increase in initial claims in the Commonwealth is clearly attributable to impacts from the COVID-19 virus,” the April 9 VEC press release stated. “The latest jump was an increase of 34,872 [statewide] claimants from the previous week and may indicate a deceleration, or ‘flattening of the curve,’ after late-March’s steep trajectory of weekly increases.

“While accommodation and food service sectors initially were most affected, impacts have broadened to include more jobs in other sectors like manufacturing, transportation, and even certain types of health care,” the reports continues. 

“After weeks of unprecedented initial claims filing volumes, continued claims—or the number of persons continuing to claim unemployment benefits—have also begun climbing rapidly,” the report continues. “For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 133,184 — tripling the number from the previous week and 113,164 higher than 20,020 continued claims from the comparable week last year.

“The numbers of initial claims filed during the week ending April 4, 2020, was 67.4 times higher than the comparable 2019 week—an increase of 145,182 claims.”

Nationwide, the number of seasonally adjusted initial claims totaled 6.6 million — a decrease of 261,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 6.8 million.

Most states showed slowing increases in the most recent week while some reported weekly declines. While Virginia reported a large increase, it also showed among the most rapid slow-downs in the rate of growth. 

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