Pandemic-related unemployment continues to be an issue for the Culpeper region.
For the week ending May 16 in Culpeper County, 217 people filed initial claims for jobless benefits, according to Virginia Employment Commission figures released on Thursday.
In Fauquier for the same time period, 211 people filed an initial claim for unemployment, 159 in Orange, 41 in Madison and 15 in Rappahannock. Initial claims continued to fall weekly since the local peak the week ending April 4.
Continued unemployment claims from Culpeper County workers for the week ending May 9 totaled 1,918, according to VEC.
In the past two months, beginning March 21, a total of 3,481 Culpeper County workers filed initial claims for unemployment benefits.
In Fauquier, initial claims were filed by 4,433 people in the last two months and in Orange County, 2,979 people filed for unemployment initially since March 21, according to VEC.
According to statewide preliminary figures from the May 16 filing week, accommodation and food service sector, which includes hotels and restaurants, continued to see the greatest percentage of continued claims for unemployment benefits (92,688 of those reporting), according to VEC. This directly reflects impacts of public health and safety measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Claimants in that industry comprised over a quarter of pre-pandemic payroll employment.
Many continued claims also came from workers in retail trade (14% of industry employment) and health care and social assistance (9% of industry employment) during the week of May 16 while 28,543 claimants work in small service businesses like barbershops and automotive repair shops, which are classified in the other services industry, according to VEC.
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