Metro-area jobless numbers show little change

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Unemployment in Virginia’s metro areas remained relatively unchanged in November as the commonwealth’s overall jobless rate fell to the lowest level in 17 years.

Unemployment rates were unchanged in five of 11 Virginia metropolitan statistical areas during the month, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

VEC figures slipped one-tenth of a percentage point in five other MSAs and rose by the same margin in one region, the New River Valley.

Statewide, the unemployment rate fell to 2.8 percent in November, its lowest level since 2001.

That overall Virginia rate is based on seasonally adjusted data, meaning that it takes into effect seasonal fluctuations in the labor force.

Local and metro-area rates, however, are based on figures that are not seasonally adjusted. The state’s November rate using that method was 2.7 percent.

As usual, Northern Virginia had the lowest jobless rate in November, 2.3 percent, followed by the Winchester and Charlottesville areas, both at 2.4 percent.

A breakdown of the metro areas shows:

Bristol: 3 percent in November, unchanged from October
Charlottesville: 2.4 percent, unchanged.
Hampton Roads: 3 percent, down from 3.1 percent.
Harrisonburg: 2.7 percent, unchanged.
Lynchburg: 3 percent, down from 3.1 percent.
Northern Virginia: 2.3 percent, down from 2.4 percent.
New River Valley: 2.9 percent, up from 2.8 percent.
Richmond: 2.9 percent, unchanged.
Roanoke: 2.6 percent, down from 2.7 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 2.5 percent, down from 2.6 percent.
Winchester: 2.4 percent, unchanged.

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