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Virginia unemployment rate drops below 3 percent

virginiaVirginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point in September to 2.9 percent, which is the third consecutive monthly decline.

The September 2018 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Virginia was down 0.7 percentage point from a year ago and is the lowest rate since the June 2007 rate of 2.9 percent. In September, the labor force contracted by 3,574, or -0.1 percent, as the number of unemployed dropped by 3,482 and household employment fell by a slight 92. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was down by 0.2 percentage point to 3.7 percent.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 5,600 jobs in September to 4,025,200, which was the ninth consecutive monthly increase and a new record high. August’s initially reported gain of 4,800 jobs was revised upward by 8,900 jobs to an over-the-month gain of 13,700 jobs. Large upward revisions occurred in private education and health services, trade and transportation, professional and business services, information, and miscellaneous services. In September, private sector employment increased by 7,700 jobs to 3,324,000, while public sector payrolls decreased by 2,100 jobs to 701,200.

From August 2018 to September 2018, seasonally adjusted employment increased in seven major industry divisions and decreased in the other four. The largest job gain during September occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector, which increased by 4,700 jobs to 415,800. The second largest over-the-month gain occurred in private education and health services, with a gain of 3,000 jobs to 545,400. The job gains occurred in both health care and social assistance (+1,800 jobs) and private education (+1,200 jobs). Other employment gains were: 1,700 jobs in trade and transportation to 674,600; 900 jobs in manufacturing to 243,000; 800 jobs in miscellaneous services to 207,100; 700 jobs in finance to 212,300; and 100 jobs in mining to 8,400. The largest loss during September occurred in professional and business services. Employment in this sector decreased by 3,800 jobs to 748,100, after increasing the previous three months. In September, losses were experienced in all subsectors: professional, scientific, and technical services (-2,200 jobs); administrative and support services (-1,300 jobs); and management of companies (-300 jobs). The next largest over-the-month loss occurred in total government, which declined by 2,100 jobs to 701,200. For total government, losses occurred at all levels: local government (-1,500 jobs), federal government (-500 jobs), and state government (-100 jobs). Other employment losses were 300 jobs in construction to 201,900 and 100 jobs in information to 67,400.