For Release:
November 19, 2019
Contact:
Timothy Aylor
Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Virginia’s Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate Declined 0.1 Percentage Point in October to 2.6 Percent

~ Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was up 8,000 jobs between September 2019 and October 2019 ~

RICHMOND — Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point in October to 2.6 percent, which is 0.2 percentage point below the rate from a year ago. According to household survey data in October, the labor force expanded for the sixteenth consecutive month by 13,547, or 0.3 percent to set a new record high of 4,427,753, as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 2,368. The number of employed residents increased by 15,915 to set a new high of 4,311,113. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which increased to 3.6 percent.

Virginia nonagricultural wage and salary employment, from the monthly establishment survey, increased by 8,000 jobs in October to 4,029,700. September’s preliminary estimates were revised downward 4,100, further subtracting from that month’s lower job numbers. In October, private sector employment increased by 7,200 jobs to 3,309,000, while public sector payrolls increased by 800 jobs to 720,700.

From September 2019 to October 2019, seasonally adjusted employment increased in seven major industry divisions, was unchanged in one, and decreased in three. The largest job gain during October occurred in leisure and hospitality with a gain of 8,900 jobs to 424,700. Other employment gains included government (800 jobs) to 720,700, miscellaneous services (800 jobs) to 202,400, and trade and transportation (800 jobs) to 653,200. The largest loss during October occurred in manufacturing   (-2,100 jobs) to 243,600. The second largest loss was professional and business services (-2,000 jobs) to 752,400. A third employment loss was private education and health services (-200 jobs) to 553,000. For total government, gains occurred in local government (900 jobs) and federal government (600 jobs), while state government decreased by 700 jobs.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

September 2019 to
October 2019

October 2018 to
October 2019

October
2019

September
2019

October
2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

4,029,700

4,021,700

4,000,100

8,000

0.2%

29,600

0.7%

Total Private Sector

3,309,000

3,301,800

3,276,600

7,200

0.2%

32,400

1.0%

Goods-Producing

451,100

452,700

446,400

-1,600

-0.4%

4,700

1.1%

   Mining

8,300

8,300

7,900

0

0.0%

400

5.1%

   Construction

199,200

198,700

197,500

500

0.3%

1,700

0.9%

   Manufacturing

243,600

245,700

241,000

-2,100

-0.9%

2,600

1.1%

Service-Providing

3,578,600

3,569,000

3,553,700

9,600

0.3%

24,900

0.7%

  Private Service-Providing

2,857,900

2,849,100

2,830,200

8,800

0.3%

27,700

1.0%

   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

653,200

652,400

657,400

800

0.1%

-4,200

-0.6%

   Information

63,200

63,000

65,700

200

0.3%

-2,500

-3.8%

   Finance

209,000

208,700

207,400

300

0.1%

1,600

0.8%

   Professional and Business Services

752,400

754,400

749,400

-2,000

-0.3%

3,000

0.4%

   Education and Health Services

553,000

553,200

542,300

-200

0.0%

10,700

2.0%

   Leisure and Hospitality Services

424,700

415,800

406,800

8,900

2.1%

17,900

4.4%

   Miscellaneous Services

202,400

201,600

201,200

800

0.4%

1,200

0.6%

  Government

720,700

719,900

723,500

800

0.1%

-2,800

-0.4%

   Federal Government

180,200

179,600

179,700

600

0.3%

500

0.3%

   State Government

160,700

161,400

159,500

-700

-0.4%

1,200

0.8%

   Local Government

379,800

378,900

384,300

900

0.2%

-4,500

-1.2%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From October 2018 to October 2019, BLS estimates that establishments in Virginia added 29,600 jobs, or 0.7 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 67 consecutive months and has maintained strength over the last several months. In October, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 32,400 jobs, while employment in the public sector decreased by 2,800 jobs.

Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains, while three experienced employment losses. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 17,900 jobs (+4.4 percent). The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in private education and health services, up 10,700 jobs (+2.0 percent). Professional and business services experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain of 3,000 jobs (+0.4 percent). Other gains were in manufacturing, up 2,600 jobs (+1.1 percent); construction, up 1,700 jobs (+0.9 percent); finance, up 1,600 jobs (+0.8 percent); miscellaneous services, up 1,200 jobs (0.6 percent); and mining, up 400 jobs (+5.1 percent). The largest job loss occurred in trade and transportation, down 4,200 jobs (-0.6 percent). The second largest was in government, down by 2,800 jobs (-0.4 percent). Government saw gains in state government employment (1,200 jobs) and federal government employment (500 jobs) along with a loss in local government employment (-4,500 jobs).

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

September 2019 to
October 2019

October 2018 to
October 2019

October
2019

September
2019

October
2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

4,029,700

4,021,700

4,000,100

8,000

0.2%

29,600

0.7%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-
Radford MSA

73,600

77,500

76,400

-3,900

-5.0%

-2,800

-3.7%

Charlottesville MSA

120,000

120,200

118,300

-200

-0.2%

1,700

1.4%

Harrisonburg MSA

69,400

69,600

68,200

-200

-0.3%

1,200

1.8%

Lynchburg MSA

106,400

106,100

105,500

300

0.3%

900

0.9%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,515,000

1,508,600

1,489,400

6,400

0.4%

25,600

1.7%

Richmond MSA

682,900

683,100

677,600

-200

0.0%

5,300

0.8%

Roanoke MSA

163,500

163,500

161,400

0

0.0%

2,100

1.3%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

51,900

51,800

51,000

100

0.2%

900

1.8%

Virginia Beach-
Norfolk-Newport News,
Virginia/North Carolina MSA

791,200

790,700

787,200

500

0.1%

4,000

0.5%

Winchester,
Virginia/West Virginia MSA

66,300

66,200

64,800

100

0.2%

1,500

2.3%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In October, five metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains, one was unchanged, and four experienced losses. The largest absolute job gain occurred in Northern Virginia (+6,400 jobs). The second largest absolute job gain occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (+500 jobs). The third largest absolute job gain was in Lynchburg (+300 jobs). The largest job loss occurred in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (-3,900 jobs). Others with declines include: Charlottesville (-200 jobs); Harrisonburg (-200 jobs); and Richmond (-200 jobs).

Over the year, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased in nine of the ten metropolitan areas. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area experienced the largest absolute job gain, up 25,600 jobs (+1.7 percent). Richmond was ranked second, with a gain of 5,300 jobs (+0.8 percent), while Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News was ranked third, with a gain of 4,000 jobs (+0.5 percent). The other over-the-year job gains occurred in: Roanoke (+2,100 jobs); Charlottesville (+1,700 jobs); Winchester (+1,500 jobs); Harrisonburg (+1,200 jobs); and Lynchburg and Staunton (+900 jobs each). The sole job loss occurred in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford with a loss of 2,800 jobs (-3.7 percent).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point in October to 2.4 percent, which was down 0.3 percentage point from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed decreased by 8,245, household employment increased by 120,919, and the labor force increased by 112,665. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national unadjusted rate, which was unchanged in October at 3.3 percent.

Compared to last month, the October unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 166,000 manufacturing production workers increased by 0.3 hour to 40.0 hours, average hourly earnings decreased $0.20 to $19.45, while average weekly earnings fell $2.11 to $778.00. Compared to last October, the unadjusted workweek decreased by 0.9 hour, average hourly earnings increased by $0.22, and average weekly earnings were lower by $8.51.

Technical note: Estimates of unemployment and industry employment levels are obtained from two separate monthly surveys. Resident employment and unemployment data are mainly derived from the Virginia portion of the national Current Population Survey (CPS), a household survey conducted each month by the U.S. Census Bureau under contract with BLS, which provides input to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program (often referred to as the “household” survey). Industry employment data is mainly derived from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a monthly survey of approximately 18,000 Virginia businesses conducted by BLS, which provides estimates of employment, hours, and earnings data broken down by industry for the nation as a whole, all states and most major metropolitan areas (often referred to as the “establishment” survey). Both industry and household estimates are revised each month based on additional information from updated survey reports compiled by the BLS.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of October 6-12, 2019..

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the October local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, November 27, 2019.  The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiaWorks.com.

The November statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Friday, December 20, 2019.

Files detailing October's unemployment numbers are available below: