Unemployment rate falls below 4 percent in Northern Virginia

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The jobless rate in Northern Virginia fell below 4 percent in December as unemployment continued to decline in the commonwealth’s metro areas.

The Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., recorded a jobless rate of 3.9 percent in December, down one tenth of a percentage point from November, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

In addition, the unemployment rates in four other metro areas fell below 5 percent: Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Roanoke and Winchester.

The figures are “not seasonally adjusted,” according to the VEC, meaning they do not take seasonal trends in the labor market into account.

Jobless rates also fell in three “micropolitan” areas: Culpeper, Martinsville and  Staunton-Waynesboro.

A breakdown of metro area rates shows:

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford: 5 percent in December, down from 5.1 percent in November.
Bristol area: 6.2 percent, down from 6.3 percent
Charlottesville area: 4 percent, down from 4.1 percent
Danville area: 6.4 percent, down from 6.6 percent
Hampton Roads: 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent
Harrisonburg area: 4.4 percent, down from 4.7 percent
Lynchburg area: 5.3 percent, down from 5.4 percent
Northern Virginia: 3.9 percent, down from 4 percent
Richmond area: 5.2 percent, down from 5.3 percent
Roanoke area: 4.9 percent, down from 5.1 percent
Winchester area: 4.4 percent, down from 4.5 percent

In the micropolitan areas, the rates were:

Culpeper area: 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent
Martinsville area: 8.1 percent, down from 8.5 percent
Staunton-Waynesboro area: 4.6 percent, down from 4.8 percent.

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