About 22,000 Virginians will lose certain unemployment benefits next week under a federal cutoff imposed because the state’s economy has improved since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
The federal government informed Virginia this week that it is halting extended unemployment benefits that are available only when a state meets certain standards for economic hardship.
The state is one of 16 to get word that it no longer meets that definition based on several factors, including an improving labor participation rate, a measure of the population working or looking for work. The benefits will continue for now in neighboring Maryland and the District, which are not among the jurisdictions that have seen sufficient improvements in their economies.
While an improving economy should be good news for all Virginians, the benefits cutoff could hurt those who remain out of work. State officials expressed sympathy for them and renewed calls for Congress and President Trump to agree on a spending package that would send a second round of stimulus checks to Americans. But hopes seemed to be fading that they will strike a deal before Trump leaves office.