Va. unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% in November
November is 18th month with declining rate
In November, Virginia’s unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, 0.2 points below October’s rate, marking 18 straight months of declines, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.
In November 2020, the jobless rate was 2.4 points higher than last month.
The labor force increased by 2,706 to almost 4.26 million, and the number of unemployed residents decreased by 8,627 from October, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Friday. The state recorded over-the-year job gains of 2.1%. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was 4.2% last month.
“The commonwealth’s unemployment rate has decreased once again, for the 18th month in a row and to its lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” Northam said in a statement. “Virginia continues to remain a place where both businesses and workers can thrive — and these numbers prove that.”
The number of employed Virginians increased by 11,333 to 4.11 million in November. The private sector saw an increase of 13,600 jobs to 3.2 million total, while public sector jobs remained steady at 716,800 total, according to VEC.
Employment rose in nine of the 11 major industry sectors, declined in one and was unchanged in government. The largest job gain during November occurred in leisure and hospitality services, with an increase of 3,800 jobs to 361,000. The second largest increase was in trade, transportation and utilities, which added 3,600 jobs for a total of 661,600. The other sectors with increases were education and health services, professional and business services, manufacturing, construction, finance, information and mining.
Miscellaneous services was the only sector to see job loss, losing 600 to drop to 183,000 total.
The VEC reported that nine of Virginia’s 10 metropolitan areas saw nonfarm job gains during November, with Northern Virginia gaining 50,600 jobs and the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford area taking second with 4,900 jobs. The Richmond metropolitan area was the only area that had an over the year job loss, losing 2,900 jobs.
Virginia has seen a decrease in initial unemployment claims recently, with claims dropping 47% for 3,450 filed in the most recent filing week, which followed a 50% drop in the week ending Nov. 27.