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Virginia unemployment rate ticks up 0.1 percent in September

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(© fizkes –

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged upward a tenth of a percentage point in September to 6.2 percent.

More troubling: the labor force fell by 71,954, or 1.7 percent, to 4,279,495, continuing a trend of people leaving the workforce dating back to mid-March.

The number of employed residents decreased by 69,408 to 4,015,630.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which fell to 7.9 percent.

Inside the numbers

  • The largest job gains during September occurred in leisure and hospitality with an increase of 5,400 jobs to 331,700 and professional and business services (+5,400 jobs) to 740,300.
  • Other increases include trade and transportation (+3,500 jobs) to 647,400, manufacturing (+2,700 jobs) to 228,400, finance (+1,600 jobs) to 208,900, miscellaneous (+1,200 jobs) to 194,500, information (+800 jobs) to 66,200, construction (+100 jobs) to 207,900, and education and health services (+100 jobs) to 518,900.
  • Mining was unchanged at 7,100 jobs over the month.
  • Government employment fell by 11,600 jobs to 705,800. Much of the decrease within that sector occurred in local government (-10,300 jobs), but employment also fell in state government (-2,000 jobs), while federal government rose slightly (+700 jobs).
  • From September 2019 to September 2020, the Virginia Employment Commission estimates that establishments in Virginia lost 207,100 jobs, a decrease of 5.1 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia had been positive for 72 consecutive months leading up to April’s sharp decline.
  • In September, the private sector recorded an over-the-year loss of 180,200 jobs, while employment in the public sector lost 26,900 jobs.