Recovery continues: Virginia unemployment rate decreased to 8.0 percent in July

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Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell a tenth of a percentage point in July, to 8.0 percent, according to figures released by the Virginia Employment Commission on Friday.

The July 2020 rate is still 5.3 percentage points above the rate from a year ago, but the positive trend is from April, when VEC measured the unemployment rate at 10.6 percent.

According to household survey data in July, the labor force expanded by 7,974, or 0.2 percent, to 4,322,234, as the number of unemployed residents fell by 5,489. The number of employed residents increased by 13,463 to 3,978,099. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which fell to 10.2 percent.

Virginia’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment, from the monthly establishment survey, rose by 9,300 jobs in July to 3,775,000. June’s preliminary estimates were revised upward 15,200, adding to that month’s job gains. In July, private sector employment increased by 18,300 jobs to 3,102,500, while public sector payrolls decreased by 9,000 jobs to 672,500.

From June 2020 to July 2020, seasonally adjusted employment increased in five major industry divisions and decreased in six. The largest job gains during July occurred in leisure and hospitality with an increase of 23,800 jobs to 317,800. The second largest job gain was in trade and transportation which increased 3,900 jobs to 632,500. Other employment gains included: miscellaneous services, (+3,800 jobs) to 189,200, education and health services (+2,900 jobs) to 516,600, and construction (+1,100 jobs) to 208,100.

The largest job loss occurred in government employment, which dropped by 9,000 jobs in July. For total government, a gain occurred in federal government (+1,800 jobs) and losses in state government (-1,000 jobs) and local government (-9,800 jobs).

Other employment losses included: manufacturing (-6,700 jobs) to 228,000, professional and business services (-6,400 jobs) to 731,500, finance (-2,500 jobs) to 206,700, information (-1,500 jobs) to 65,000, and mining, (-100 jobs) to 7,100.

From July 2019 to July 2020, the VEC estimates that establishments in Virginia lost 284,100 jobs, or 7.0 percent. In July, the private sector recorded an over-the-year loss of 225,000 jobs, while employment in the public sector lost 59,100 jobs.

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