Unemployment rates have continued to hold steady throughout the commonwealth, coming in at just 2.6 percent and accounting for a 0.8 percentage drop from September 2021 to September 2022, according to a report released this week by the Virginia Employment Commission.
And while the numbers look promising compared to the national unemployment rate (3.5 percent at the time of this report), Northern Virginia, specifically, is trailing behind other parts of the state, seeing a 2.6 percent civilian workforce increase during that span compared to a 3.4 percent surge statewide. One factor that could account for the region lagging in this particular category is that other markets experienced more severe layoffs during the pandemic. A difference in the percentage rebound, therefore, would be inevitable.
Of that statewide percentage hike, which amounted to a one-year gain of 134,700 jobs, nearly 120,000 came from the private sector. One of the largest surges occurred in education and health services, which saw an influx of 34,800 positions. The only field that did better was leisure and hospitality — 36,000 jobs — which may come as no surprise, given the emphasis on outdoor recreation and domestic travel in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions.
Month-over-month data suggests the leisure and hospitality sector appears to be leveling off, however. From August 2022 to September 2022, the industry lost 3,500 jobs in the state, the highest number among myriad categories analyzed by the Employment Commission.
The only field that saw a year-over-year decrease in jobs was finance, which cut 4,200 positions to drop the total number of jobs to 206,200.
Perhaps the best news: No parts of the state reported year-over-year declines in employment rates. At the bottom of the job market, Richmond and Roanoke each saw an employment uptick of 1.6 percent. The highest increase, meanwhile, was in Charlottesville, where job rates jumped 3.9 percent.
Read the full report by the Virginia Employment Commission report here.
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