WINCHESTER — New unemployment claims across the region and Virginia continue to be a mixed bag, according to Virginia Employment Commission data.

The VEC's most recent filing numbers show a “continued three-month trend of small weekly changes.”

For the filing week ending Feb. 13, seasonally unadjusted new jobless claims in Virginia totaled 14,901, an increase of 698 claimants from the previous week.

Continued claims totaled 62,624, which was a 3.8% decrease from the previous week, but 40,143 higher than the 22,481 continued claims from the comparable week last year. Over half of claims were in the accommodation/food service, retail trade, administrative and waste services, and healthcare/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.

Regionally, new unemployment claims ticked up across the region except in Clarke County, where the number of new claims stayed at seven for the third straight week.

Shenandoah County had the largest increase for the most recent filing week, reporting 15 more than last week with 50 initial claims. Winchester reported 10 more this week to give it 45 initial claims; Frederick County reported nine more to give it 54; and Warren County reported five more to give it 34.

Of the 133 localities across Virginia, 113 had less than 100 initial claims for the most recent filing week, while 11 had between 101 and 300 and five had between 301 and 500. Four had between 501 and 1,000 — Virginia Beach (603), Norfolk (581), Fairfax County (561) and Richmond (658), all of which went down from the previous week except for Richmond.

This marks the fourth-straight week that no locality has had at least 1,000 new unemployment claims.

Nationwide, for the week ending Feb. 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 861,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level.

— Contact Matt Welch at mwelch@winchesterstar.com

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