(The Center Square) – Unemployment recovery in Virginia after the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to stagnate relative to other states and is currently one of the slowest in the country, according to a new one report from the WalletHub financial website.
For the upturn in unemployment last week, the Commonwealth ranked 49 and for the recovery from the start of the pandemic, it ranked 38. The ranking included the District of Columbia.
Commonwealth jobless claims over the past week were nearly 400% higher than they were the same week in 2019, which was the third worst. They were also 235% higher than they were at the start of 2020, which is also the third worst.
Unemployment claims last week were around 4% lower than in the same week of 2020, while many economic restrictions were still in place. It was the second worst in the country. The state also saw a 73.5% reduction in jobless claims from last week compared to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was the 14th worst.
“This indicates that Virginia is still grappling with unemployment and the economic recovery,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told The Center Square.
More than half of the jobless claims came from health care and social assistance, retail, administrative and waste services, and accommodation and food services, according to the Virginia Employment Commission. The state had 6,179 initial requests and 44,435 continuing requests. Most of the ongoing claims have been made by people who started filing for unemployment during the pandemic.
When Virginia ended most of its COVID-19 restrictions earlier in the year, the unemployment rate began to drop significantly, but in recent months the recovery has almost stalled. The state still maintains an unemployment rate lower than most states, but struggles to return to its pre-pandemic figures.
Some members of the business community, including small businesses and particularly accommodation and hospitality, have reported labor shortages. Some of the main causes have been the overall number of job applicants and the number of qualified applicants. Additional pandemic unemployment benefits, in which people received an additional $ 300, may have contributed to those numbers, but that program ended last weekend.
The best states last week were Arkansas, South Carolina, Arizona and Idaho and the worst were New Mexico, Louisiana, Virginia and Rhode Island. The best states since the start of the pandemic were Florida, South Carolina, New Hampshire and South Dakota and the worst were Rhode Island, Delaware, New Mexico and the District of Columbia.