The Commonwealth of Virginia’s unemployment rate held at 2.8 percent in January, its sixth consecutive month at that level. The figure shows a 0.5 percent year-over-year decline in the state’s jobless rate, which was 3.3 percent in January 2018.
Virginia’s unemployment rate is on track for one of the lowest rates it has had in the 21st century. The last time the rate was this low was in April 2001, when it also was 2.8 percent.
On Monday, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) reported that the labor force, which expanded for the seventh consecutive month, added 7,183 jobs for a total of 4,346,164, a new record high. Household employment increased by 6,090 after a slight decline last month, also setting a new record high with 4,223,594 employed.
The number of those without jobs increased by 1,093 to 122,570 in January, the third consecutive monthly increase.
Virginia’s seasonally-adjusted non-farm employment increased by 23,700 jobs in January to 4,032,300, also a new record high. The first month of 2019’s increase followed December’s revised decline of 600 jobs, slightly larger than the initial reported loss of 100 jobs.
From December 2018 to January 2019, seasonally-adjusted employment increased in all major industry divisions, apart from manufacturing.
Leisure and hospitality: increased by 7,000 jobs to 417,800.
Professional and business services: increased by 6,900 jobs to 757,400. Within the sector, administrative and support services added 5,100 jobs, and professional, scientific, and technical services added 2,000. Management, however, lost 200 jobs.
Finance: increased by 2,400 jobs to 207,600.
Private education and health services: increased by 2,400 jobs to 545,900.
Trade and transportation: increased by 2,000 to 660,700.
Information technology: increased by 1,100 jobs to 65,900.
Miscellaneous services: increased by 800 jobs to 202,600.
Construction: increased by 600 jobs to 198,100.
Government: increased by 500 jobs to 724,500. In state government, 1,000 jobs were gained, while in local government, 500 jobs were lost.
Mining: increased by 100 jobs to 7,900.
Manufacturing: declined by 100 jobs to 243,900.
Overall, from January 2018 to January 2019, employers added a net total of 44,100 jobs in Virginia, a job growth rate of 1.1 percent, the 58th straight month of job growth, VEC reports. Though, the growth rate was still below the national job growth rate of 1.9 percent in January. Regardless, Virginia had the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in the nation.