There have been nearly 7,000 unemployment claims in Alexandria since the COVID-19 pandemic forced much of the city to shut down, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.
There were 1,895 jobless claims in Alexandria for the week ending April 11 — a reduction from last week, but still a stark contrast to the 33 claims filed on March 14. The numbers shot up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and on March 21 there were 797 jobless claims, followed by 1,683 claims on March 28, and 2,578 claims on April 4. All together there have been 6,986 unemployment filings in the city.
Statewide, there were 104,619 new claims, and there have been more than 410,762 claims since March 21, which is “only 67,000 fewer than the average of all initial claims filed during the last three economic recessions,” according to a VEC release.
“The latest claims figure was a decrease of 42,750 claimants from the previous week,” VEC noted. “The 29% decrease indicates that initial claims volumes may have peaked during the April 4 filing week, following its dizzying ascent in late March.”
VEC added that the majority of the jobs affected are in the food service and accommodation industries, and that “retail and health care, younger workers and female workers have been disproportionally impacted.”
Additionally, there were 236,791 continued weeks claims for the week ending April 11, which is an increase of 104,107 from the previous week.
Learn more about filing a weekly or continued claim here.
Expansions to the Virginia Employment Commission Unemployment Insurance program increase benefits for workers collecting…
According to the city:
Assistance for Workers and Job Seekers
Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)
If you have been totally or partially separated from your job due to COVID-19, go to www.vec.virginia.gov/unemployed for information on eligibility for Unemployment Insurance or call 866.832.2363, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- How to File Your Initial Unemployment Claim : A video by the Virginia Employment Commission
Expansions in the VEC Unemployment Insurance program
On April 7, Virginia announced expansions in the VEC Unemployment Insurance program as a result of the Federal CARES Act, which provides increased benefits for workers collecting unemployment insurance by $600 for claims effective March 29 until July 31. Payments to eligible claimants will be retroactive and will be made automatically in conjunction with weekly claims.
In addition, new benefits for previously uncovered workers were announced. Affected workers, like the self-employed, who are not eligible under traditional unemployment insurance may be eligible under the new federal program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). To be eligible for this new program, workers must first apply through traditional unemployment by visiting www.vec.virginia.gov or www.vawc.virginia.gov.
Learn more on the VEC website.
Workforce Development Center
The City of Alexandria Workforce Development Center is offering many of its services online or by phone. Visit alexandriava.gov/WorkforceDevelopment or call 703.746.5990 for more information.
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Office of Governor Ralph Northam
COVID-19 FAQ for WorkersFrequently asked questions for workers that provides guidance on a range of topics, including the stimulus payment, unemployment, relief for self-employed and contractors, information for caregivers of family members with the coronavirus, and more.
Staff photo by James Cullum