Metro-area jobless rates rise in January
Unemployment rose in most of Virginia’s metro areas in January.
The Virginia Employment Commission reported Tuesday that 10 of the state’s 11 metropolitan statistical areas saw their jobless rates rise from three-tenths of a percentage point to 1.6 percent.
The VEC figures are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market.
The sole MSA showing a decrease in unemployment during January was the Staunton-Waynesboro region. Its jobless rate declined by one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.8 percent.
The biggest percentage increase in unemployment occurred in the New River Valley region (Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford), which saw its rate climb from 4.1 percent in December to 5.7 percent in January. That January rate also was highest among the 11 metro areas.
On the other hand, three regions — Hampton Roads, Harrisonburg and Northern Virginia — all had increases of three-tenths of a percentage point. Northern Virginia also had the lowest unemployment rate of all metro areas, 3.4 percent.
Looking at individual localities around the state, Arlington County recorded Virginia’s lowest unemployment rate in January, 2.7 percent, while Buchanan County had the highest, 9.8 percent.
During January, the national unemployment rate was 5.1 percent and the Virginia rate was 4.2 percent, based on data that is not seasonally adjusted.
Here is a a breakdown of metro unemployment numbers:
Bristol area: 4.9 percent in January, up from 4.4 percent in December.
Charlottesville: 3.7 percent, up from 3.2 percent.
Hampton Roads: 4.6 percent, up from 4.3 percent.
Harrisonburg: 3.9 percent, up from 3.6 percent.
Lynchburg: 4.8 percent, up from 4.3 percent.
New River Valley: 5.7 percent, up from 4.1 percent.
Northern Virginia: 3.4 percent, up from 3.1 percent.
Richmond: 4.3 percent, up from 3.9 percent.
Roanoke: 4.1 percent, up from 3.7 percent.
Staunton: 3.8 percent, down from 3.9 percent.
Winchester: 3.7 percent, up from 3.3 percent.