Home Virginians have returned to the workforce; unemployment below national rate

Virginians have returned to the workforce; unemployment below national rate

Crystal Graham
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(© Antonioguillem – stock.adobe.com)

More Virginians are employed this year compared to last year – with more than 23,000 more people with jobs in June. In total, there are 201,472 more Virginians employed since January 2022.

The labor force participation rate also rose 0.1 of a percentage point to 66.6 percent, the highest rate since January 2013.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics, or LAUS, the labor force in Virginia increased this month by 13,757 to 4,588,082, the largest number of workers since counting began in 1976.

“Virginia’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly a year while more and more people are joining the labor force,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Virginia’s economy continues to show positive growth.”

The Commonwealth’s unemployment rate declined from 2.9 percent in May to 2.7 percent in June, and remained below the national rate, which decreased to 3.6 percent in June.

According to LAUS, the number of employed Virginians increased by 23,111 to 4,463,028 in June, and the number of unemployed residents decreased by 9,354 to 125,054.

“The robust health of Virginia’s labor market during the first half of 2023 is a great start,” said Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater. “We will continue to build on this momentum to ensure that every worker in the Commonwealth can obtain the skills necessary for a great career and thrive in this rapidly changing global economy.”

Breaking down by industry

For the 11 industry sectors in Virginia over the year, nine of 11 major industry divisions experienced employment increases while two were unchanged.

The largest absolute over-the-year job gain occurred in Education and Health Services, up 22,700 jobs (+4.1 percent).

The second largest over-the-year job gain occurred in Government, up 22,200 jobs (+3.1 percent).

The third largest over-the-year job gain occurred in Leisure and Hospitality Services, up 21,000 jobs (+5.4 percent).

Other job gains occurred in Professional and Business Services (+12,300 jobs); Miscellaneous Services (+5,300 jobs); Construction (+3,400 jobs); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+2,500 jobs); Information (+2,100 jobs); Manufacturing (+1,000 jobs).

Mining and Finance were unchanged over the year.

For more details, visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at vec.virginia.gov.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.