Virginia unemployment falls to 3.2 percent

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Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent in May, the lowest level it has reached since 2007.

The Virginia Employment Commission said Friday that the seasonally adjusted jobless rate dipped one-tenth of a percentage point during the month.

May’s unemployment rate was down six-tenths of a percentage point from the same month last year. The jobless rate has not been this low since October 2007.

The commonwealth’s labor force expanded in May for the fourth straight month to 4,338,619.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 6,200 jobs in May to 4,000,500, which was the fifth consecutive monthly increase and a new record high.

The term “seasonally adjusted” means that rate takes into consideration seasonal fluctuations in the labor force.

Nationally, the May unemployment rate was 3.8 percent.

During May, Virginia employment increased in six major industry divisions, decreased in another three, and was unchanged in construction and mining at 200,800 and 8,200, respectively.

The largest job gain during May occurred in the trade and transportation sector, where rose by 3,900 jobs to 671,200. That total set a record high that surpassed the pre-recession peak of 669,100 in March 2007.

The largest job loss during May occurred in the professional and business services sector, where employment fell by 1,300 jobs to 738,000.

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