Unemployment falls in Virginia metro areas

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Unemployment fell in metropolitan areas throughout Virginia in July.

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) reported Wednesday that jobless rates were down in all of commonwealth’s 11 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).

The highest rate was 3.6 percent in the Lynchburg area. The lowest was 2.4 percent in Northern Virginia.

Three other MSAs — Staunton-Waynesboro, Charlottesville and Winchester — also had rates below 3 percent.

The VEC numbers are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do account for seasonal adjustments in the labor force.

Using that standard, Virginia’s jobless rate in July was 2.9 percent while the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

The decline in metro-area unemployment in July follows upticks in May and June.

A breakdown of the MSA results shows:

Bristol: 3.4 percent in July, down from 3.7 percent in June.
Charlottesville: 2.7 percent, down from 3.1 percent.
Harrisonburg: 3 percent, down from 3.5 percent.
Hampton Roads: 3.2 percent, down from 3.5 percent.
Lynchburg: 3.6 percent, down from 3.9 percent.
New River Valley: 3.3 percent, down from 3.7 percent.
Northern Virginia: 2.4 percent, down from 2.7 percent.
Richmond: 3.1 percent, down from 3.4 percent.
Roanoke: 3 percent, down from 3.4 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 2.7 percent, down from 3.1 percent.
Winchester: 2.5 percent, down from 2.8 percent.

Among Virginia’s 134 cities and counties, Arlington had the lowest unemployment rate in July, 1.9 percent, while Petersburg had the highest rate, 6.3 percent.

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