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Inside the Numbers: Greater Augusta economy continues strong rebound from shutdown

Virginia covid-19
(© Ingo Menhard –

The Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta economy is very much an outlier in this Year of Our COVID-19 2020.

The state as a whole has lost nearly 300,000 jobs and has had an additional 70,000-plus vanish from among those seeking employment since March.

The SWAC metro service area, meanwhile, has more people employed than at the beginning of the public health response to the pandemic.

As of the latest figures from the Virginia Employment Commission, which are up to date through the end of July, there were 59,259 people employed in the Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta MSA, up from the 58,784 employed in March.

The number of people seeking work in the SWAC area is also up – from 60,610 in March to 63,626 in July.

Quick summation: more people working, more seeking work.

These are good signs. Great signs.

Our neighbors are not faring as well.

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham economy has shed nearly 5,000 jobs since March – from the 64,704 employed in March to 59,932 in July.

The number of people seeking employment is also down rather sharply – from 66,834 in March to 64,240 in July.

And over in Charlottesville-Albemarle, it’s a similar story.

Job loss is over the 10,000 mark – from 121,342 jobs in March to 110,909 in July.

And the labor force is still nearly 5,000 off from its pre-shutdown level – at 119,984 in July, down from 124,988 in March.

Story by Chris Graham

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augusta free press