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Local jobless claims rise

Unemployment claims continued to rise for the 11th consecutive week in Lunenburg County as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continued claims rose to 253 in a workforce of approximately 5,100 people. While falling by 12.2% statewide, initial claims rose from 23 the week before to 39 the week ending May 23.

Overall in Virginia, continued claims were down 631 from the previous week but, up a startling 384,563 higher than the comparable week in 2019. Virginia’s initial claims decreased by 5,457 or 12.2%.

Jobless claims in the U.S. have surpassed the 40 million mark. The May jobless report is due out this coming Friday. The nation-wide unemployment rate is expected to be anywhere between 19% and 21.5%. April’s unemployment rate of 14.7% was the highest unemployment rate in the country in the post-World War II era.