Virginia’s unemployment rate falls for 18 months straight

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 30, 2021

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Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% in November, which is 2.4 percentage points below the rate from one year ago and well below the national rate. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate of 4.2%.

“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,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia continues to remain a place where both businesses and workers can thrive—and these numbers prove that.”

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 13,600 jobs in November. The labor force increased by 2,706 to 4,259,504, as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 8,627 to 145,605. The number of employed residents rose by 11,333 to 4,113,899. In November 2021, Virginia saw over-the-year job gains of 2.1%.

“The continued increase in payroll employment and decrease in the unemployment rate are exciting indications of a strong job market in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Labor Megan Healy. “We’re proud of the resiliency of Virginia’s businesses and workers alike, and we will continue to work with our workforce development partners to provide support and resources for Virginians looking to enter the workforce.”

“Since this time last year, the unemployment rate is down significantly, and nonfarm payroll has increased by more than 52,000 jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These are just two of many positive signs for Virginia’s economy, which is on track to be even stronger than it was before the pandemic.”

In November, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 73,100 jobs, while employment in the public sector gained 9,500 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, nine of 11 major industry divisions experienced employment increases. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 24,000 jobs, 7.1%. The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 19,200 jobs, 2.5%. Trade and transportation experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain of 12,400 jobs, 1.9%.