Virginia’s unemployment rate falls

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Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point in March to 5.3 percent, marking the commonwealth’s lowest rate since December 2008.

The unemployment rate continued to fall from last year. The March rate was 0.6 percentage point below March 2012.

Virginia’s employment rate remains below the national average of 7.6 percent in March, which fell 0.1 percentage point from February.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment, which is determined by surveys of Virginia businesses, was down 5,700 jobs from February, with the largest loss being 4,500 jobs in the trade and transportation sector. Nonfarm employment, however, is up 29,300 jobs over March 2012.

Employment is up in nine of Virginia’s 10 metropolitan areas from last year. Charlottesville region, where nonfarm employment dropped 3.1 percent, was the only region that saw a decrease in employment over the past year.

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