Unemployment rates up, down, or steady according to the most recent VEC data

For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 233,467 — a 6.5 percent decrease from the previous week but 215,203 higher than the 18,264 continued claims from the comparable week last year. The claims total is mainly comprised of recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the VEC.

Patrick County’s unemployment rate decreased from June, Martinsville’s rate increased and the rate in Henry County held steady, according to the most recent data from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).

Patrick County’s labor force was 7,349 in July, which was an increase of 152 people from June. The number of employed individuals also increased by 166. The unemployment numbers have dropped from the previous month, with 509 compared to 523 in June and an unemployment rate less than 7- percent.

While the civilian labor force has grown in Patrick County since July 2019, the number of employed individuals has slightly dropped since last year, data showed. In July 2019, there were 6,923 employed. This year, that number is 6,840.

The number of jobless has increased 3.2 percent, from 269 in 2019 to the current 509, according to the data.

Henry County has seen an increase to the civilian labor force in July 2020, posting 24,558 workers during the month. This was an increase in 428 people from the previous month and an increase of 712 people from July 2019. The number of people employed increased from the previous month by 381, but still lagged behind July 2019 numbers by 729 workers.

The number of unemployed held steady at 9.3 percent with 27 more individuals losing their jobs from the previous month. The numbers were still far from the previous year, seeing an increase of 1,441 people since last year where the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent.

The civilian job force for the City of Martinsville in July 2020 was 5,999 people with 5,131 of them being employed. This left 868 still unemployed for a rate of 14.5 percent. Each of these factors was an increase from the previous month showing an increase in civilian labor force of 199 people. The number of those employed and the jobless also increased, by 116 and 83 respectively, which meant an increase to the unemployment rate by one percent from the June rate of 13.5 percent.

Compared to July 2019, Martinsville increased its civilian labor force by 457, which represents a decrease of 161 from the previous year. There are also 618 more people unemployed this year, accounting for an increase in 10 percent from 2019.

According to VEC data, the total number of initial claims filed from the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March through the August 29 filing period was greater than the combined totals filed during the Great Recession in 2007-2009, and the economic recession in 2001.

For the filing week ending August 29, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 10,305, for a decline of 1,131 claimants from the week before, continuing the decline in August.



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