An upward trend in those filing weekly claims for unemployment in the region continues.
The latest data released by the Virginia Employment Commission illustrates a continued upward trend in the number of people filing weekly claims for unemployment in the greater Lynchburg area.
According to VEC numbers released Thursday, May 7, 9,451 continued claims for unemployment insurance were filed in the Central Virginia Workforce Development Area during the week of May 2, 2020. Continued claims are made by individuals who have filed an initial claim for unemployment and are now making weekly claims to continue receiving benefits. The Central Virginia Workforce Development area includes the city of Lynchburg, along with the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell. Total employment for the Central Virginia Workforce Development Area was 108,959 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Of the people filing continued unemployment insurance claims, the largest number is coming from people who work in food preparation and serving-related occupations. Workers in that industry sector account for nearly a quarter of all weekly claims filed since March 1.
As the number of continued claims for unemployment insurance increased, the figure of those making an initial unemployment insurance claim in the Central Virginia Workforce Development Area is headed down; mirroring a statewide trend. Initial claims are made by those seeing unemployment insurance for the first time. An initial claim must be made before a worker can make weekly (continued) claims to continue receiving benefits. 1,355 initial unemployment insurance claims were filed in the Central Virginia Workforce Development Area during the week of May 2; down from a high number of 3,357 initial claims filed during the week of April 4, but still far above the 84 initial unemployment insurance claims filed during the week of March 14.