Unemployment rates drop from March to April in all Virginia metropolitan areas

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The Virginia Employment Commission released unemployment rate figures from March 2010 and April 2010 on Wednesday showing a decrease in unemployment in all of Virginia’s 11 metropolitan areas.

Overall, Virginia’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.9 percentage points to 6.7 percent in April 2010, which was down from the March 2010 unadjusted rate of 7.6 percent.

The improvement in the unemployment rate came from the usual seasonal hires, as companies prepare for the tourist season and there is increased construction and building activity because of milder weather.

Metropolitan areas across the state showed the seasonal decline in unemployment from March to April, with the Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Radford-area seeing the largest drop in its unemployment rate from 9.4 percent in March down to 7.8 percent in April.

The Kingsport/Bristol-area recorded the smallest drop in unemployment, only a 0.2 percentage point decrease from March (9.3 percent) to April (9.1 percent).

Virginia’s metropolitan area with the lowest unemployment is the Washington/Arlington/Alexandria-area, recording a 5 percent unemployment rate for April 2010. Meanwhile, the Danville-area holds the highest unemployment rate percentage for April 2010 at 11.6 percent.

Unemployment rates in April 2009 compared with April 2010 are fairly similar, though there is a slightly higher unemployment rate across the state for April 2010.

Virginia’s unemployment rate in April 2009 was 6.7 percent. Areas across the state reported similar unemployment rates that rose slightly from 2009 to 2010. The Kingsport/Bristol-area recorded the largest gain in unemployment rates when compared yearly; the April 2009 rate of 7.7 percent jumped to 9.1 percent in April 2010.

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