The number of unemployment claims reported in the greater Lynchburg area continues to stay on a downward course.

A total of 4,004 continued claims for unemployment insurance were filed in the Central Virginia Local Workforce Development Area (LWDA) during the week of Sept. 26, according to VEC figures released Thursday, Oct. 1. 

That week’s figure represents a seven percent drop from the previous week’s number of 4,307. The number of continued claims filed has also dropped 51 percent since the week of July 25, when the additional $600 weekly benefit provided under the federal CARES Act expired. 

Continued claims are made by individuals who have filed an initial claim for unemployment and are now making weekly claims to continue receiving benefits. 

The Central Virginia LWDA includes the city of Lynchburg, along with the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell. This area had an estimated civilian labor force of 121,321 in August 2020, with an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent. 

In all areas of the Central Virginia LWDA, continued unemployment claims have fallen more than 50 percent since May. 

The number of initial claims in the Central Virginia LWDA, filed by those entering the unemployment system, was 173 during the week of Sept. 26; a nine percent decrease from the previous week’s figure of 191.

After reaching a peak during the week of April 4, the number of people filing first-time unemployment claims in the counties of the LWDA has nearly returned to the figure reported at the beginning of the pandemic in March. 

Appomattox (+4 initial claims) and Campbell (+16 initial claims) counties did experience small increases first-time claims the week before last. Bedford county (-19 initial claims) and the city of Lynchburg (-19 initial claims) experienced a decrease, while Amherst County remained flat at 21 claims.

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