Home Report: Virginia employment in 2023 grew by 2.8% from 2022, annual wage grew by 6.8%

Report: Virginia employment in 2023 grew by 2.8% from 2022, annual wage grew by 6.8%

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Virginia Works (the Department of Workforce Development and Advancement) announced the publication of the 2023 Virginia Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) on Thursday.

The federal-state cooperative program provides annual estimates of employment and wages for more than 800 occupations in 22 major occupational groups based on a survey of business establishments. The OEWS survey covers wage and salary workers in nonfarm and nonmilitary establishments and does not include the self-employed, owners and partners in unincorporated firms, household workers or unpaid family workers.

In collaboration with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Virginia Works releases comprehensive data covering the entire state, including Virginia’s Balance of State (BOS) regions and Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). With modeling from the Local Employment and Wage Information System (LEWIS), Virginia Works generates estimates for Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIAs), Planning Regions, and Virginia Community College Regions. An industry breakdown is also available for statewide data up to the four-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

Total statewide employment for all occupations was an estimated 3,981,130 in 2023, a 2.8 percent increase from 2022’s total employment of 3,873,060. Wages in Virginia also increased during the period, with the mean annual wage growing by 6.8 percent to $70,050 and the median annual wage growing by 3.4 percent to $49,920. Virginia’s mean annual wage was 7 percent higher than the United States’ mean annual wage of $65,470, with Virginia’s median annual wage also larger than the United States’ $48,060 by 3.9 percent.

Office and Administrative Support Occupations remain the largest statewide occupational group, with more than 11 percent of Virginians employed. Employment is largely concentrated not only in that group, but also in Business and Financial Operations Occupations and Sales and Related Occupations, with 30 percent of statewide employment falling into one of the three categories. In terms of median annual wage, Business and Financial Operations Occupations rank relatively high among occupation groups with a median annual wage of $85,030 while the remaining four out of five top employing occupational groups have a median annual wage below that of the state overall ($49,020).

The largest detailed occupations in the state were Fast Food and Counter Workers (96,390 employed), Retail Salespersons (96,360), and Cashiers (93,280). Software developers are the fifth largest occupation in Virginia with 86,680 making a median annual wage of $135, 040. However, the highest median salary was predictably for Management Occupations at $132,380 (over two and a half times the state’s median salary for all occupations), followed by Computer and Mathematical Occupations at $120,160 and Legal Occupations at $105,820. The lowest median salary reported was for Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations at $30,630, followed by Personal Care and Service Occupations at $33,720 and Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations at $34,100.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.