Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.6 percent in January, after declining the previous three months, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.
The 5.6 percent rate was four tenths of a percentage point below the 6 percent rate posted in January 2012.
The labor force expanded in January for the sixth consecutive month, increasing by 11,627 people, the VEC said.
The unemployment rate takes into account seasonal swings in the labor market.
Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was below the national rate of 7.9 percent, which was up one tenth of a percentage point from December.
. Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate increased seven tenths of a percentage point in January to 6.2 percent. That rate, however, was two tenths of a percentage point below the January 2012 rate.
The higher jobless rate is due to cutbacks in the retail and leisure and hospitality sectors after the holidays and winter break closings at public and private schools and colleges.
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