Amid the 20,000 Virginians losing their extended benefits this weekend, Virginia has fallen to the bottom five states in the U.S. with the slowest recovery for weekly unemployment claims.
Unemployment claims in Virginia are up over 500 percent versus this week last year, according to a WalletHub study.
There has been a change of 342 percent in unemployment claims last week versus the first week of 2020, and a staggering 1,466 percent uptick in unemployment claims in Virginia since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic versus last year at large.
Republican states are recovering more quickly than blue states like Virginia, according to the same study.
There were over 14,000 initial claims in Virginia last week, compared with just over 2,000 the week of Nov. 11, 2019.
The commonwealth saw 1,245,050 initial claims from March 16 to Nov. 9. That's over 1.1 million more claims versus the same timeframe last year.
Virginia also ranks 48th in recovering from the increase in unemployment insurance claims the week of Nov. 9 versus the week of Nov. 11, 2019.
South Dakota, a reliably red state, has seen the best unemployment claims recovery. Other states in the top ten include such reliably red states as West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arkansas and South Carolina.
Virginia shares the bottom five with other blue states, including New Mexico and Massachusetts.
According to the study, COVID-19 has wiped out all job gains since the Great Recession.
Since Feb. 1, 2020, the U.S. has seen the creation of 22.7 million jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen over 68 million initial unemployment claims.