~ Virginia’s unemployment rate ranks 2nd lowest among major U.S. states and in Southeast; Lowest rate in nearly 10 years ~
Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.1 percentage point in October to 3.6 percent, the second consecutive monthly decline, and was down 0.5 percentage points from a year ago. October’s unemployment rate of 3.6 percent was the lowest rate since the March 2008 rate of 3.6 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was down 0.1 percentage point in October to 4.1 percent.
In response to today’s announcement Governor McAuliffe said, “When this administration began, our unemployment rate stood at 5.4 percent. After nearly four years of attracting new businesses and rebuilding our economic infrastructure from the ground up, it has fallen all the way to 3.6 percent. I am so proud of the work this team has done to grow and diversify Virginia’s economy and lay a foundation for decades of economic growth to come. This is great news, but we still have nearly two months in office and we’re going to spend every single moment building a new Virginia economy for the families we serve.”
Virginia is tied with Alabama, Arkansas, and Florida for the second lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states, behind Tennessee. In addition, Virginia has the second lowest unemployment rate, along with Florida, among major U.S. states behind Tennessee.
Since the beginning of the McAuliffe Administration, average hourly earnings and personal income in Virginia have increased by a total of 7.4 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In addition, average weekly wages for the private sector have increased 8.1 percent year to date, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.
Household employment expanded slightly to 4,181,517, the 34th consecutive monthly increase and a new record high. The labor force contracted slightly, by 961, as the number of unemployed declined by 1,891, exceeding the 930 increase in household employment.
“I’m pleased to see Virginia’s unemployment rate decrease to the lowest rate since March 2008,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Working with our private sector partners, the General Assembly, localities, and others, we are providing more Virginians with the tools necessary to get good-paying jobs in the new Virginia economy. We are expanding job opportunities and pro-business initiatives across the Commonwealth, positioning Virginia to be the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Virginia’s nonfarm payroll employment is 33,700 jobs higher when compared to October of 2016. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 43 consecutive months. In October, Virginia’s over-the-year growth was 0.9 percent. Nationally, total nonfarm employment was up 1.4 percent from a year ago.
In October, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 36,000 jobs, while the public sector recorded an over-the-year loss of 2,300 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains.