Virginia unemployment rate up 0.1 percent in March

economic-forecast-headerVirginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased a slight 0.1 percentage point in March to 5.0 percent, after declining the previous seven months. However, the labor force expanded for the third consecutive month, increasing by 28,211.

Of those entering the labor market, 24,534 additional people reported working and an additional 3,677 people were seeking work. The March 2014 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.0 percent was 0.6 percentage point below a year ago. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues below the national rate, which remained unchanged in March at 6.7 percent.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 5,100 jobs in March to a total of 3,764,800. However, for the previous two months, preliminary nonfarm employment was revised upward. March’s total nonfarm employment decline followed February’s gain of 7,500 jobs, which was revised upward by 2,600 jobs from an initially reported job gain of 4,900.

January’s nonfarm employment was also revised upward, with an additional 3,500 jobs, reducing the job loss in January to 6,000 versus the initially reported loss of 9,500. Total nonfarm employment continues below the April 2008 pre-recession peak of 3,791,900 jobs. In March, private sector employment decreased by 6,100 jobs, while public sector payrolls increased by 1,000 jobs.

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