New unemployment filings fall in DC and Maryland, but spike in Virginia

New filings for unemployment benefits fell in both the District and Maryland last week, but initial claims jumped in Virginia, even as the number of initial unemployment claims nationwide dropped to the lowest level since March.

Nationally, 787,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time in the week ending Oct. 17. That’s 55,000 fewer than the previous week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The total number of continuing claims, or those currently receiving unemployment benefits, fell to 8.4 million — 1 million fewer than the previous week.

The Labor Department does not distinguish between those voluntarily ending their unemployment benefits or those whose benefits have run out.

On an unadjusted basis, which factors out seasonal influences, initial unemployment claims totaled 756,617.

New unemployment filings in Maryland were down by more than 1,500 last week. Initial claims in the District fell by more than 500.

However, new filings for unemployment benefits in Virginia were higher by almost 4,400 compared to the previous week.

Initial jobless claims in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, unadjusted, in the week ending Oct. 17:


  • Week ending Oct. 17: 1,388
  • Week ending Oct. 10: 1,912


  • Week ending Oct. 17: 10,812
  • Week ending Oct. 10: 12,347


  • Week ending Oct. 17:13,499
  • Week ending Oct. 10: 9,110

The Labor Department posts initial weekly jobless claims by state online.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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