State un­em­ploy­ment rate drops to 2.9%

Over-the-year job growth pos­i­tive for 54 con­sec­u­tive months

The Progress-Index - - LOCAL - Con­trib­uted Re­port

RICH­MOND — Gov­er­nor Ralph Northam an­nounced last month that Vir­ginia’s sea­son­ally ad­justed un­em­ploy­ment rate de­creased by 0.1 per­cent­age point in Septem­ber to 2.9 per­cent, which is the third con­sec­u­tive monthly de­cline. The Septem­ber 2018 sea­son­ally ad­justed un­em­ploy­ment rate for Vir­ginia was down 0.7 per­cent­age point from a year ago and is the low­est rate since the June 2007 rate of 2.9 per­cent. In Septem­ber, the la­bor force con­tracted by 3,574, or -0.1 per­cent, as the num­ber of un­em­ployed dropped by 3,482 and house­hold em­ploy­ment fell by a slight 92. Vir­ginia’s sea­son­ally ad­justed un­em­ploy­ment rate con­tin­ues to be below the na­tional rate, which was down by 0.2 per­cent­age point to 3.7 per­cent.

“I’m pleased to see the un­em­ploy­ment rate de­crease for a third con­sec­u­tive month, a key in­di­ca­tion that Vir­ginia’s econ­omy is strength­en­ing and the work we’re do­ing to at­tract new busi­ness and in­vest­ment is pay­ing off,” said Gov­er­nor Northam. “But even as we add jobs and see record-low un­em­ploy­ment in the Com­mon­wealth, we must also con­cen­trate on en­hanc­ing our work­force de­vel­op­ment sys­tem and build­ing the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture to sus­tain this growth long-term. To­day’s an­nounce­ment is ex­cel­lent news for our Com­mon­wealth, and I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing this progress so we can en­sure eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity ex­ists for all Vir­gini­ans, no mat­ter who they are or where they live.”

Vir­ginia has the low­est sea­son­ally ad­justed un­em­ploy­ment rate among the South­east states. Vir­ginia has the third best rate among the states east of the Mis­sis­sippi. Vir­ginia is ranked eighth in the na­tion for the sea­son­ally ad­justed un­em­ploy­ment rate along with Ver­mont.

“This ad­min­is­tra­tion is work­ing tire­lessly to cre­ate qual­ity jobs across the Com­mon­wealth, and driv­ing down the un­em­ploy­ment rate is an im­por­tant sign that our ef­forts are work­ing,” said Sec­re­tary of Com­merce and Trade Brian Ball. “We will con­tinue build­ing and di­ver­si­fy­ing our econ­omy so all Vir­gini­ans have ac­cess to good ca­reers.”

“At 2.9 per­cent, Vir­ginia’s low un­em­ploy­ment rate speaks to the strength of our work­force and econ­omy,” said Chief Work­force De­vel­op­ment Ad­vi­sor Me­gan Healy. “The statis­tics show our sus­tained com­mit­ment to in-de­mand skill de­vel­op­ment is get­ting real re­sults.”

Vir­ginia’s non­farm pay­roll em­ploy­ment is 68,400 jobs higher when com­pared to Septem­ber of 2017. Over-the-year em­ploy­ment growth in Vir­ginia has been pos­i­tive for 54 con­sec­u­tive months and has con­tin­ued to strengthen over the last sev­eral months. For Septem­ber, Vir­ginia’s over-the-year growth of 1.7 per­cent was the same as the na­tional rate.

In Septem­ber, the pri­vate sec­tor recorded an over-theyear gain of 85,500 jobs, while em­ploy­ment in the pub­lic sec­tor de­clined by 17,100 jobs. Com­pared to a year ago, on a sea­son­ally ad­justed ba­sis, nine of the eleven ma­jor in­dus­try di­vi­sions ex­pe­ri­enced em­ploy­ment gains, while the other two ex­pe­ri­enced em­ploy­ment losses.

For a greater sta­tis­ti­cal break­down visit the Vir­ginia Em­ploy­ment Com­mis­sion’s web­site at www.vec.vir­ginia.gov.

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