ODU Dragas Center: VA unemployment declining


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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy at Old Dominion University announced on Thursday afternoon that unemployment claims continue to decrease in Virginia.

Their new study finds that that 7,210 Virginians filed an initial unemployment claim for regular state benefits for the week ending June 5, which was a decrease of 880 claims from the previous week. Continued state claims decreased by 1,967 to 50,261.

Nonseasonally adjusted data from the Virginia Employment Commission shows that initial claims for unemployment insurance have declined in recent times.

“For the sixth consecutive week, initial claims for unemployment insurance in the commonwealth are down from the previous week,” said Dominique Johnson, research associate at the Dragas Center. “We see a similar trend in the number of Virginians receiving unemployment benefits, which has declined approximately 16.8% over the last four weeks. With the relaxation of mask mandates and social distancing requirements in Virginia, we expect the recovery to continue to accelerate in the coming months.”

Approximately 15.3 million Americans received some form of unemployment assistance for the week of May 22 which was a decrease of approximately 14.7 million from the same week in 2020.

“Continued vaccinations and the relaxation of social distancing requirements have spurred hiring and lowered initial unemployment claims nationally,” said Robert McNab, director of the Dragas Center. “Compared to the first week of January 2021, initial unemployment claims have fallen 59% while continued claims have declined by 42%.”

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