Following several weeks of noticeable increases, the region that includes Lynchburg reported a smaller number of new unemployment claims last week.

During the week of Jan. 16, 436 initial unemployment insurance claims were filed in the Central Virginia Local Workforce Development Area (LWDA), a 23 percent decrease from the 569 initial claims reported during the week of Jan. 9. 

Initial claims are filed by those making their first claim for unemployment insurance. 

The Central Virginia LWDA includes the city of Lynchburg, along with the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell. 

The initial unemployment figure reported for the week of Jan. 16 is still much higher than the 127 first-time claims reported for the week of Nov. 28, which was the lowest number of weekly initial claims filed in the Lynchburg area since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March. Initial claims for this region peaked at 3,357 during the week of April 4. 

Initial claims decreased in all five localities of the Central Virginia LWDA last week. There were 189 initial claims reported in Lynchburg (down from 249 the previous week), 109 initial claims in Bedford County (down from 115 the previous week), 79 initial claims in Campbell County (down from 98 the previous week), 38 initial claims in Amherst County (down from 56 the previous week), and 21 claims filed in Appomattox County (down from 51 the previous week). 

Continued claims remained mostly flat last week, but increased slightly from 1,902 the previous week to 1,920. 

Continued claims are filed by individuals who have already made an initial claim and are now filing weekly claims to continue receiving benefits. This figure is an indicator of how many people are needing ongoing unemployment assistance. 

Continued unemployment claims in this region peaked at 9,659 during the week of May 9.

Continued claims increased in Lynchburg (up from 849 to 901) and Amherst County (up from 174 to 187). Continued claims decreased in Appomattox County (down from 93 to 91), Bedford County (down from 459 to 427), and Campbell County (down from 327 to 314).

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