Industries Economic Development

Virginia unemployment remains unchanged

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Virginia’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in August at 3.8 percent.

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) said the August rate, while the same as July’s, represented a drop of  three-tenths of a percentage from the figure recorded in August 2016, 4.1 percent.

In conjunction with the VEC unemployment announcement, Gov. Terry McAuliffe released a statement saying that 215,100 net new jobs have been created in the commonwealth during his term.

Citing Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis figures, the governor said total wages and salaries in Virginia have increased by 12.2 percent since January 2014, while average hourly earnings and total personal income have risen by 7.4 and 13.3 percent, respectively.

The VEC numbers released Friday are seasonally adjusted, meaning they take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor force.

Virginia’s nonfarm employment rose in August for the third consecutive month to 3.98 million, an increase of 2,200 jobs.

Meanwhile, July’s nonfarm employment numbers were revised to show an increase of 11,400 jobs, up from an initial estimate of 8,300 jobs.

During August, employment rose in seven industry sectors while declining in four others.

The biggest increase occurred in private education and health services, up 5,400 jobs to 554,000.

The largest decline was seen in professional and business services, down 6,200 jobs to 735,100. The decline followed eight consecutive months of increased employment in that sector for a total gain of 23,800 jobs.

From August 2016 to August this year, total nonfarm employment in Virginia has risen by 58,700 jobs, an increase of 1.5 percent.

Among Virginia metro areas, Northern Virginia has seen the biggest increase in employment during the past 12 months, 18,200 jobs, followed by the Richmond area, 17,000 jobs, according to VEC figures.

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