Jobless rates rise in many Virginia regions

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Eight of 14 population hubs tracked by the Virginia Employment Commission saw their unemployment rates rise in July.

Figures released by the VEC showed jobless rates up from June in five metropolitan statistical areas: Roanoke, Richmond, Lynchburg, Bristol and Danville.

Jobless rates dropped in another four metro areas (Northern Virginia, Harrisonburg, Winchester and Blacksburg-Christiansburg) and were unchanged in two (Charlottesville and Hampton Roads).

In addition, three smaller population centers (Culpeper, Martinsville and Staunton-Waynesboro) all saw higher unemployment rates. VEC calls these regions micropolitan statistical areas.

The biggest change occurred in the Bristol area, up 1.2 percentage points to 9.9 percent.

Overall 72 of 134 cities and counties in Virginia had higher jobless rates in July.  The lowest rate, 4.2 percent, was recorded in Arlington County, while the highest rate occurred in the City of Martinsville, 20.6 percent.

Nationally, Virginia’s 7.1 percent unemployment rate was the 14th lowest among the states and the District of Columbia.

None of the figures in the report were adjusted for seasonal fluctuations in the economy.

Metro areas unemployment rates:

Northern Virginia: 5.2 percent, down 0.1 percentage points

Charlottesville: 6.3 percent, unchanged

Harrisonburg: 6.9 percent, down 0.2 points

Winchester: 6.9 percent, down 0.3 points

Hampton Roads: 7.6 percent, unchanged

Roanoke: 7.7 percent, up 0.2 points

Richmond: 8 percent, up 0.1 points

Blacksburg-Christiansburg: 8.5 percent, down 0.4 points

Bristol: 9.9 percent, up 1.2 points

Danville: 12.2 percent, up 0.4 points

Micropolitan area jobless rates:

Staunton-Waynesboro: 7.4 percent, up 0.1 points

Culpeper: 8.3 percent, up 0.3 points

Martinsville: 15.3 percent, up 0.3 points

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