New unemployment claims were up sharply this week, according to a report from the Virginia Employment Commission on Thursday.
For the filing week ending April 24, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 37,356, an increase of 23,605 claimants from the previous week.
This brought the total number of claims filed since the March 21, 2020 filing week to 1,638,836, compared to the 477,600 average filed during the previous three economic recessions since 1990.
For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 54,281, which was a decline of 992 claims from the previous week, and 287,014 lower than the 341,295 continued claims from the comparable week last year.
Over half of claims that had a self-reported industry were in the accommodation and food services, administrative and waste services, retail trade, and health care and social assistance industries.
The continued claims total is mainly comprised of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.