Va. unemployment rate dropped to 3.8% in September
September marks 16th month of declining rate
In September, Virginia’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, 0.2 points below August’s rate, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday. The state’s unemployment rate has declined for 16 months straight.
In September 2020, the jobless rate was at 6.6%, 2.8 points higher than last month. The labor force decreased by 3,859 to 4.2 million, but the number of unemployed residents decreased by 8,606 from August, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Friday. The state recorded over-the-year job gains of 1.8%. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was 4.8% last month.
“September marks the 16th consecutive month Virginia’s unemployment rate has dropped,” Northam said in a statement. “People are working, businesses are hiring, and that’s all good news. This consistent progress shows the strength of Virginia’s economy, and we need to keep this momentum going.”
The number of employed Virginians increased by 4,747 to 4.08 million in September. The private sector saw an increase of 7,500 jobs to 3.2 million jobs total, while public sector jobs decreased by 4,800 jobs to 713,000, according to the VEC.
Employment rose in four of 11 major industry sectors, declined in six and was unchanged in one, the VEC reported. Mining was the only sector to see no change in employment.
The largest job gain during September occurred in professional and business services which gained 9,900 jobs for a total of 781,000 jobs. The second largest increase was in education and health services, with an increase of 2,900 jobs to total 534,600. The other industries with increases were manufacturing and information.
The largest job loss during September occurred in government, with a decrease of 4,800 jobs to 713,000, caused by the loss of 7,500 jobs in local government. State government added 2,100 jobs, and federal, 600 jobs The second largest decrease occurred in miscellaneous services, which fell by 3,700 jobs to 181,500. Other decreases included leisure and hospitality services; trade, transportation and utilities; finance; and construction.
The VEC reported that five of Virginia’s 10 metropolitan areas saw nonfarm job gains during September, with the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News area gaining 3,300 jobs and Northern Virginia taking second with 1,700 jobs. Charlottesville had the largest decrease, losing 1,300 jobs during the month.
After a surge of 300% in initial unemployment claims in mid-September, the state saw numbers return to relatively normal levels for three weeks. Last filing week, VEC recorded fewer than 2,000 initial claims.