Jobless rate falls to 4.8 percent
Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point in December to 4.8 percent, the lowest level since October 2008.
The commonwealth’s nonfarm employment also rose by 6,000 jobs in December to a total of 3,797,300 jobs, passing a prerecession peak of 3,791,900 set in April 2008, according to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office.
The seasonally adjusted numbers reflect seasonal fluctuations in the labor market.
December’s decline was the third consecutive monthly drop in the unemployment rate. Virginia’s unemployment rate continues below the national rate, which fell 0.2 percentage point to 5.6 percent.
The number of people seeking work declined by 9,190, or 4.3 percent, while household employment increased by 3,459, or 0.1 percent. The labor force contracted by 5,731, or 0.1 percent.
December’s job increase was the second consecutive monthly gain and followed November’s upwardly revised job gain of 18,400, which was initially reported as a gain of 11,900 jobs.
From November 2014 to December 2014, seasonally adjusted employment increased in six major industry divisions and decreased in the other five. The largest job increase during December occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector, up 3,300 jobs to 378,100, the third consecutive monthly increase.
The largest job decrease during December occurred in construction, down 2,200 jobs to 178,100, the second consecutive monthly decline.