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Unemployment rate jumps in metro areas

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Unemployment climbed during January in Virginia’s metro areas.

The Virginia Employment Commission reported on Friday that jobless rates grew from a half to eight-tenths of a percentage point in the commonwealth’s 11 metropolitan statistical areas.

The biggest increases took place in the New River Valley and Lynchburg areas.

The lowest increases were seen in Richmond and Harrisonburg.

Despite the higher rates, January’s metro-area figures remained low, with 10 of the 11 MSAs reporting numbers of less than 4 percent. Bristol’s rate was 4 percent.

A breakdown shows:

Bristol: 4 percent in January, up from 3.3 percent in December.
Charlottesville: 3 percent, up from 2.3 percent.
Hampton Roads: 3.6 percent, up from 3 percent.
Harrisonburg: 3 percent, up from 2.5 percent.
Lynchburg: 3.6 percent, up from 2.8 percent.
New River Valley: 3.5 percent, up from 2.7 percent.
Northern Virginia: 2.8 percent, up from 2.2 percent.
Richmond: 3.3 percent, up from 2.8 percent.
Roanoke: 3.1 percent, up from 2.5 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 3 percent, up from 2.4 percent.
Winchester: 2.9 percent, up from 2.3 percent.

In smaller, “micropolitan” areas:

Big Stone Gap: 5.4 percent, up from 4.3 percent.
Danville: 4.1 percent, up from 3.4 percent.
Martinsville: 3.9 percent, up from 3.3 percent.

Arlington had the lowest overall jobless rate among Virginia localities, 2.3 percent, while Lancaster County had the highest, 7.2 percent.


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