Nearly 100,000 more Virginians are employed than at the end of January, a key milestone highlighted by Governor Glenn Youngkin in a Friday press release.

“With 100,000 jobs added since January, we are well ahead of pace to reach our goal of 400,000 jobs during my term. However, the slowdown in monthly job creation and the lower level of job participation have my full attention. We will continue the critical work to return more Virginians to the workforce and will double-down on policies that make Virginia attractive for job growth and business investment,” Youngkin said. “We remain laser-focused on our mission to make Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

As proof of his success compared to his two Democratic predecessors, Youngkin cited that figure in remarks to the joint money committees of the General Assembly in a speech Friday.

“In the eight years before our partnership began, Virginia was plainly falling behind. We were 47th in the country for job recovery coming out of the pandemic. Our economy had mustered growth of less than 1 percent. In that eight-year period, we were losing jobs to states like Florida and Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, and North Carolina,” Youngkin said in his speech. “Since January through June, we’ve been top 15 in the country for job recovery[…].”

Since he took office, Youngkin has highlighted positive economic data for Virginia but said that there are still underlying problems that need his policies.

“While I’m pleased with the 100,000 jobs added since January this month, we saw the pace of growth slow down. Given the storm clouds spun off by failed federal policies, it’s now more important than ever to double down on the state policies that make Virginia attractive for new business,” Youngkin told the legislators.

Youngkin’s press release notes that in July the number of employed Virginia residents rose 5,865 to total 4.24 million — but the labor force participation rate declined from June’s 63.9 percent to 63.8 percent, and the labor force in Virginia is still about 120,000 less than pre-pandemic levels.

“While the July unemployment rate of 2.7 percent is not far from its historically low rate of 2.1 percent in 2000, we need to add workers and achieve higher rates of growth for the economy. We must continue our return to a more vibrant economy that reaches across all sectors in Virginia,” Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater said in Youngkin’s release.

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network

This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.