Virginia unemployment rate continues to rise

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Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose for the third straight month in July, to 5.4 percent.

The July rate represented an increase of one-tenth of a percentage point from June, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

Virginia’s unemployment rose by two-tenths of a percentage point in both May and June.

Despite the increase in July, the 5.4 percent rate still was lower than the 5.7 percent rate recorded in July 2013.

The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate for July was 6.2 percent, also one-tenth of a percentage point higher than June.

The commonwealth’s labor force contracted in July by nearly 24,000 workers.

Although the overall jobless rate rose during the month, employment increased in nine major industry divisions, decreased in one (finance) while remaining unchanged in another (mining).

The largest job increase during July took place in construction, which grew by 4,700 jobs to 182,200.

In finance, the number of jobs fell by 2,000 to 193,100. Mining employment was unchanged in July at 10,000 jobs.

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