Virginia, Maryland saw biggest jumps in new unemployment claims last week

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Nationwide, the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits for the first time fell to a new pandemic low of 375,000, but by one measure, the number of first-time filings in Virginia and Maryland posted the largest one-week jump among states last week.

The number of initial claims in Virginia last week, at 10,822 according to the U.S. Department of Labor, was up 80% from the previous week, the largest one-week percentage jump among states. In Maryland, last week’s 5,997 new filings for unemployment benefits were up 64% from the previous week, the second-largest percentage increase among states.

By total number of new unemployment filings last week, California led among states with 68,556 new filings, followed by Texas at 30,518.

Florida had the largest decrease in jobless claims last week, down 43% from the previous week.

By percentage of total workforce, Bloomberg calculates Rhode Island had the highest jobless claims rate, at 0.6% of the state’s workforce. Rhode Island has seen the largest jobless claims as a percentage of the labor force for the last four weeks.

Nationwide, first-time filings for unemployment benefits fell a modest 12,000 from the previous week. The previous week’s level was revised higher by 2,000.

As of Aug. 2, 87 million Americans were receiving ongoing standard state unemployment benefits, down 114,000 from the previous week.

The Labor Department does not distinguish between standard jobless benefits that were voluntarily surrendered or expired.

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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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