RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Monday announced a nearly 89% decrease in the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) critical employment claims backlog.

As of Jan. 15, the backlog of employment separation reports has been reduced by nearly 89% from 246,273 to 27,728, and unpaid pending claims have been reduced from 24,887 to 15,846, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“Virginians deserve an unemployment insurance system that is responsive, efficient and customer focused,” said Gov. Youngkin. “On day one, my administration launched the VEC transformation effort with an initial focus on reducing the backlog and we are starting to see encouraging initial results. We have a lot more work to do, but I want Virginians to know we are serious about making the VEC, along with all other state agencies, work for them.”

The governor’s office said that this was a “first step” in the governor’s commitment to fixing the VEC and putting the government to work for Virginians.