Virginia unemployment rate steady at 3.8 percent

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in May at 3.8 percent for the third consecutive month, and is down 0.2 percentage points compared to a year ago. The March, April, and May rates of 3.8 percent are the lowest rates since the May 2008 rate of 3.8 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues below the national rate, which was down 0.1 percentage point in May to 4.3 percent.

virginia“I’m pleased to see the continued growth of Virginia’s labor force, demonstrating that more jobs are available in the Commonwealth and more Virginians are entering the workforce,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “Today’s announcement is a testament to the work we’re doing to build the new Virginia economy and create new opportunities for families in every corner of the Commonwealth. We are making progress but we must continue to work together to attract new jobs and investment to Virginia and strengthen the foundation we have laid for long-term economic growth.”

Virginia has the second lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states. In addition, Virginia continues to have the second lowest unemployment rate among major U.S. states.

Additionally, since the beginning of the McAuliffe administration, average hourly earnings in Virginia have increase by a total of 9%, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Virginia’s labor force expanded for the 14th consecutive month to 4,306,169, setting a record high for the Commonwealth, and household employment expanded for the 29th consecutive month to 4,144,295, also a record high. The labor force increased by 4,75% in May, as household employment rose by 4,562 and the number of unemployed increased by 196.

“Today’s announcement underscores that our collaborative efforts to build a new Virginia economy are working,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore.  “With recent actions and announcements, such as the Governor signing a bill into law that institutes numerous economic development reform and enhancement measures and Virginia rising to number six in the nation for state-level economic development competitiveness, the Commonwealth continues to highlight its dynamic pro-business climate, one primed for more investment and job creation opportunities.”

Virginia’s nonfarm payroll employment is 44,400 jobs higher when compared to May of 2016. Virginia’s over-the-year employment growth was 1.1 percent and has been positive for 38 consecutive months.  Nationally, total nonfarm employment grew 1.6 percent in May compared to a year ago.

In May, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 42,900 jobs, while the public sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 1,500 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

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

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