Virginia unemployment funds could run out within two months; virtual career fair planned

Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:12 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The number of people filing for unemployment in Virginia continues to rise.

According to officials, 37,946 people filed new claims last week, a jump of about 5,600 compared to the week prior. Since March 1,008,797 initial claims have been filed in the state.

The Virginia Employment Commission held a virtual meeting Thursday where officials addressed another issue. Officials must figure out how to replenish the trust fund as it’s set to be depleted soon.

“At the start of 2020 it was projected to be at $1.5 billion,” official Joyce Fogg said.

The trust fund was depleted in 2010 after the recession but in years following the state worked to build it back up.

“We anticipate the trust fund will be depleted in less than two months and Virginia will have to borrow from the federal government in order to continue making benefit payments,” Fogg said.

The state will have to take steps to get the fund back but it will cost employers.

“Employers are facing significant tax hikes in order to replenish the trust fund. Businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic and have laid off or furloughed the most employees could face the highest tax increases,” Fogg explained.

The hotel service and food industry have been affected the most.

Officials said 5,000 applications are being reviewed weekly and hope to increase that number to 10,000 a week in August.

As much of the world continues virtually, the state has over 100 employers coming together for a virtual career fair.

“This is a great opportunity to connect employers with prospective job seekers,” Fogg said.

The event will be held on July 28 and will be open for veterans from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and will open to the general public from 2 to 5 p.m.

Job-seekers can register and learn more about the event here.

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