Jobless rates rise slightly in most Virginia metro areas

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Unemployment rose slightly in most Virginia metro areas in May.

The Virginia Employment Commission reported on Wednesday that jobless rates increased in eight of 11 Virginia metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) during the month.

Rates were unchanged in the three remaining metro areas —Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia and Richmond.

The VEC numbers are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market.

Using that same metric, Virginia’s unemployment rate rose slightly in May, from 2.8 to 2.9 percent.

The national unemployment rate during the month was 3.6 percent, down from 3.7 percent.

A metro-area breakdown shows:

Bristol: 3.2 percent in May, up from 3.1 percent in April.
Charlottesville: 2.5 percent, up from 2.4 percent.
Hampton Roads: 3.1 percent, unchanged.
Harrisonburg: 2.9 percent, up from 2.7 percent.
Lynchburg: 3.3 percent, up from 3.2 percent.
New River Valley: 3 percent, up from 2.9 percent.
Northern Virginia: 2.4 percent, unchanged.
Richmond: 3 percent, unchanged.
Roanoke: 2.9 percent, up from 2.8 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 2.8 percent, up from 2.7 percent.
Winchester: 2.5 percent, up from 2.4 percent.

Among localities throughout the commonwealth, Arlington had the lowest jobless rate in May, 2 percent, while Buchanan County had the highest, 5.9 percent.

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