Virginia’s unemployment rate reaches 5.2 percent

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Virginia’s unemployment rate reached 5.2 percent in December, a 0.6 percentage point increase from November.

Typically, Virginia’s unemployment rate decreases in December as employers hire about 25,000 extra workers over the holidays, according to the Virginia Employment Commission. This year, however, employers only added about 12,000 to 15,000 workers.

Also, for the first time in 2008, the state’s employment was lower than the same month a year before. The number of jobs decreased 0.8 percent over the past year, losing 31,000 jobs compared with December 2007/

Virginia still ranked better than the U.S., which had an average unemployment rate of 7.1 percent.

In December, Northern Virginia had the lowest unemployment rate of all Virginia metropolitan areas at 3.9 percent, while Danville had the highest at 11.5 percent.

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