Virginia unemployment rate lowest since May 2008

virginia newVirginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percent in May and is now at 3.8 percent—the lowest rate since the May 2008 rate of 3.8 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains below the national rate, which fell 0.3 percentage points in May to 4.7 percent.

In May, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was 3,902,400 jobs. Virginia’s over-the-year employment growth of 1.8 percent surpassed the national growth rate, which was 1.7 percent. For the eighth consecutive month, over-the-year growth in the Commonwealth has surpassed the national growth rate.

Virginia was tied for the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states and had the fourth best rate among the states east of the Mississippi.

Compared to last month, the May seasonally unadjusted private sector average weekly earnings for Virginia were higher by $15.99. Compared to last May, the seasonally unadjusted average weekly earnings grew by $38.77, or 4.2 percent, to $954.45.

“The continued decline in Virginia’s unemployment rate, combined with our most significant increase in state gross domestic product since 2010, is a testament to the success we are having growing and diversifying our Commonwealth’s economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Despite the ongoing headwinds generated by sequestration and federal defense cuts, Virginia’s economic growth is creating new opportunity and a quality of life for families across the Commonwealth. We have more work to do, but there is no question that Virginia is headed in the right direction economically.”

“Virginia’s job growth continues to accelerate at an impressive pace,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “The private sector, in particular, is adding jobs in almost every industry.  Now is the time for us to continue to make strategic investments in talent, infrastructure and education that will ensure that this season of robust growth endures.”

From May 2015 to May 2016, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased by 67,900 jobs. Over-the-year employment growth has been positive for the past 26 months. The private sector recorded an employment gain of 66,200 jobs, while the public sector recorded an employment gain of 1,700 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

Governor McAuliffe also announced that according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Virginia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for fourth quarter 2015 was 2.4 percent, and was more than 40 percent larger than the nationwide rate of 1.7 percent growth.  This is the third consecutive quarter of strong GDP growth and gives Virginia the highest year over year improvement in GDP growth in the southeast United States.

Virginia’s 1.4 percent increase in annual GDP growth is the Commonwealth’s highest since 2010.Growth in Virginia’s GDP exceeded the nation for: Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Professional and Technical Services, Management of Companies, and in Administrative and Support Services.

For a greater statistical breakdown visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at

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