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McAuliffe announces fourth consecutive month of Virginia labor force increase

virginiaThe Virginia labor force expanded for the fourth consecutive month to 4,261,091, up nearly 13,800 in November, setting a new record high for the Commonwealth. Household employment also rose by nearly 10,930, the third consecutive monthly increase. Virginia’s nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 13,600 in November, but remains up 37,500 compared to November of 2015.

Virginia’s over-the-year employment growth was 1.0 percent in November and has been positive for 32 consecutive months. Nationally, total nonfarm employment grew 1.6 percent in November compared to a year ago.

“Thanks to labor force expansion and household employment increases, we continue to see clear indicators that Virginia’s economy is growing,” said Governor McAuliffe. “There are more Virginians in the labor force now than ever before. However, we must not rest on our laurels. Right now, Virginia has 149,000 jobs open in the technology sector alone. If we continue to reorient our education and workforce development systems toward these high-growth sectors, we can turbo charge our economic growth and create new opportunities for Virginians in every corner of the Commonwealth.”

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up 0.1 percentage point in November to 4.2 percent from October’s revised rate of 4.1 percent. Compared to a year ago, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains unchanged. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues below the national rate of 4.6 percent. When Governor McAuliffe took office in January of 2014, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

Virginia has the second lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states, behind Arkansas. Virginia was tied with Indiana and Maryland for the fifth best rate among the states east of the Mississippi. Virginia has the seventeenth lowest unemployment rate in the nation along with Indiana and Maryland.

“Today’s announcement of a new record high labor force shows that the citizens of the Commonwealth are growing more confident in the new Virginia economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “More people are seeking work and more are reporting that they’ve found good-paying jobs here in the Commonwealth.”

In November, the private sector recorded an over-the-year employment gain of 35,200 jobs, and the public sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 2,300 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

For a greater statistical breakdown visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website