Virginia metro jobless rates fall

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Unemployment fell in Virginia’s metro areas during December.

The Virginia Employment Commission reported on Tuesday that the commonwealth’s 11 metropolitan statistical years saw their jobless rates decline from two-tenths of a percentage point to a half percentage point during the month.

All of the metro jobless rates were under 4 percent. The lowest rate, 2.7 percent, was recorded in Northern Virginia. Charlottesville’s rate also was under 3 percent. The highest number 3.9 percent, was found in Hampton Roads.

The figures released by the VEC are not seasonally adjusted, meaning that they do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor force.

During December, the overall unemployment rate for Virginia was 3.4 percent while the national rate was 3.9 percent.

The biggest decline in unemployment occurred in the New River Valley, where the rate fell a half percentage point to 3.3 percent.

A breakdown of the numbers shows:

Bristol: 3.6 percent in December, down from 3.9 percent in November.
Charlottesville: 2.9 percent, down from 3.2 percent.
Hampton Roads: 3.9 percent, down from 4.1 percent.
Harrisonburg: 3 percent, down from 3.5 percent.
Lynchburg: 3.8 percent, down from 4.2 percent.
New River Valley: 3.4 percent, down from 3.6 percent.
Northern Virginia: 2.7 percent, down from 3 percent.
Richmond: 3.6 percent, down from 3.8 percent.
Roanoke: 3.3 percent, down from 3.6 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 3.1 percent, down from 3.4 percent.
Winchester: 3 percent, down from 3.2 percent.

Among all localities in Virginia — counties and independent cities— Arlington had the lowest jobless rate, 2.2 percent, while Petersburg had the highest, 7.3 percent.

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