Jobless rates dip in Virginia metro areas
Unemployment rates declined slightly in Virginia’s metro areas during September.
The Virginia Employment Commission reported Wednesday that jobless figures ranged from 2.1% to 2.9% in the commonwealth’s 11 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).
The VEC numbers are not seasonally adjusted, meaning that they don’t account for seasonal fluctuations in the labor force.
The biggest decline in jobless rates occurred in the Harrisonburg and Charlottesville areas, both down four-tenths of a point from August.
The smallest decline occurred in Northern Virginia, down two-tenths of a point.
Nonetheless, NoVa and the Winchester area tied for the lowest jobless rate among MSAs during the month, 2.1%.
The Lynchburg area had the highest unemployment rate in September, a still-low 2.9%.
Using numbers that are not seasonally adjusted, Virginia jobless rate for September was 2.5%, down from 2.7% in August. The VEC said 4.3 million Virginians were employed during the month in a civilian workforce of 4.4 million.
A breakdown of MSA numbers shows:
- Bristol: 2.8% in September, down from 3.1% in August.
- Charlottesville: 2.2%, down from 2.6%.
- Hampton Roads: 2.7%, down from 3%.
- Harrisonburg: 2.3%, down from 2.7%.
- Lynchburg: 2.9%, down from 3.2%.
- New River Valley: 2.6%, down from 2.9%.
- Northern Virginia: 2.1%, down from 2.3%.
- Richmond: 2.6%, down from 2.9%.
- Roanoke: 2.5%, down from 2.8%.
- Staunton-Waynesboro: 2.2%, down from 2.5%.
- Winchester: 2.1%, down from 2.4%.
The figures for small micropolitan areas around the state were:
- Bluefield: 3.8%, down from 4.2%.
- Big Stone Gap: 4.3%, down from 4.8%.
- Danville: 3.5%, down from 3.9%.
- Martinsville: 3.1%, down from 3.4%.
Among Virginia localities, Arlington continued to post the lowest employment rate, 1.7% in September.
Buchanan County had the highest rate during the month, 5.3%