New unemployment claims jump sharply in Maryland and Virginia

A sign “Temporarily Closed” is seen in front of a store amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 14, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)

Initial claims for unemployment benefits filed by U.S. workers last week rose to the highest level since August, and new filings in Maryland and Virginia jumped sharply.

Initial claims in the District also rose modestly last week.

The Labor Department reports almost 22,000 new claims for standard unemployment benefits in Maryland during the week ending Jan. 9. That’s almost double the previous week. Initial claims in Virginia rose by more than 11,000, totaling more than 31,000 last week.

Nationwide, initial unemployment claims during the week ending Jan. 9 totaled 965,000. That’s 181,000 more than the previous week.

The total number of Americans receiving standard unemployment benefits last rose by almost 200,000 to 5.3 million.

On an unadjusted basis, excluding seasonal factors, initial jobless claims last week totaled 1.15 million.

Initial jobless claims in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, unadjusted, during the week ending Jan. 9:


  • Week ending Jan. 9: 1,945
  • Week ending Jan, 2: 1,650


  • Week ending Jan. 9: 21,808
  • Week ending Jan. 2: 11,541


  • Week ending Jan 9: 31,095
  • Week ending Jan. 2: 19,530

The Department of Labor posts weekly initial unemployment claims by state online.

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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