Jobless rates fall in Virginia metro areas
Unemployment dropped in all of Virginia’s metro areas during December.
The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) reported on Wednesday declines ranging from one-to three-tenths of a percentage point in the commonwealth’s 11 metro statistical areas.
The VEC numbers were not seasonally adjusted, meaning that they do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in labor force.
All of the metro jobless rates were below 4.5 percent, and seven were below 4 percent.
Northern Virginia continued to have the lowest unemployment rate, 3.1 percent. It was closely followed by the Charlottesville area, 3.2 percent, and Winchester area, 3.3 percent.
The highest rate was recorded in the Bristol area, 4.4 percent.
A breakdown of the number shows:
Bristol: 4.4 percent in December, down from 4.7 percent in November.
Charlottesville: 3.2 percent, down from 3.4 percent.
Hampton Roads: 4.3 percent, down from 4.5 percent.
Harrisonburg: 3.6 percent, down from 3.8 percent.
Lynchburg: 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent.
New River Valley: 4.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent.
Northern Virginia: 3.1 percent, down from 3.3 percent.
Richmond: 3.9 percent, down from 4.1 percent.
Roanoke: 3.7 percent, down from 3.9 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 3.9 percent, down from 4 percent.
Winchester: 3.3 percent, down from 3.5 percent.
Among localities in the commonwealth, Arlington had the lowest unemployment rate, 2.5 percent, while Buchanan County had the highest, 8.9 percent.