For Release:
May 17, 2019
Contact:
Timothy Aylor
Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Conrad Buckler
Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-8264 or (804) 786-7496

Virginia’s Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate Was Unchanged in April at 2.9 Percent

~ Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment rose by 8,100 jobs between March 2019 and April 2019 ~

RICHMOND — Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in April at 2.9 percent. The April 2019 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Virginia was down 0.2 percentage point from a year ago. In April, the labor force expanded for the tenth consecutive month by 2,637, or 0.1 percent to set a new record high of 4,362,921, as the number of unemployed rose slightly by 628. Household employment increased by 2,009 to reach a new high of 4,235,646. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.6 percent in April—the lowest rate since December 1969.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 8,100 jobs in April to 4,041,100. In April, private sector employment increased by 7,900 jobs to 3,317,200, while public sector payrolls increased by 200 jobs to 723,900.

From March 2019 to April 2019, seasonally adjusted employment increased in seven major industry divisions, was unchanged in mining, and fell in the other three. The largest job gain during April occurred in professional and business services which grew by 3,700 jobs to 762,800. In April, gains were experienced in two of its subsectors: administrative and support services (+2,600 jobs) and professional, scientific, and technical services (+1,800 jobs). Management of companies declined by 700 jobs. The second largest over-the-month gain occurred in finance with a gain of 2,600 jobs to 208,200. The third largest over-the-month increase occurred in manufacturing, with a gain of 2,100 jobs. The increase brought employment in manufacturing to 248,100—with gains in both durable goods (+1,500 jobs) and nondurable goods (+600 jobs). Other employment gains were: 1,100 jobs in trade and transportation to 659,800; 700 jobs in construction to 199,400; and 200 jobs in leisure and hospitality to 420,100. For total government, increases came from: federal government (200 jobs) and state government (100 jobs), with local government shedding -100 jobs. The largest loss during April occurred in the private education and health services sector, which declined by 1,500 jobs to 545,700. Its subsector healthcare and social assistance accounted for 1,400 of the job loss. Other employment losses were: information (-700 jobs) to 64,100 and miscellaneous services (-300) to 201,100.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

March 2019 to
April 2019

April 2018 to
April 2019

April
2019

March
2019

April
2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

4,041,100

4,033,000

3,998,000

+8,100

+0.2%

+43,100

+1.1%

Total Private Sector

3,317,200

3,309,300

3,277,000

+7,900

+0.2%

+40,200

+1.2%

Goods-Producing

455,400

452,600

444,600

+2,800

+0.6%

+10,800

+2.4%

   Mining

7,900

7,900

8,000

0

+0.0%

-100

-1.3%

   Construction

199,400

198,700

197,700

+700

+0.4%

+1,700

+0.9%

   Manufacturing

248,100

246,000

238,900

+2,100

+0.9%

+9,200

+3.9%

Service-Providing

3,585,700

3,580,400

3,553,400

+5,300

+0.1%

+32,300

+0.9%

  Private Service-Providing

2,861,800

2,856,700

2,832,400

+5,100

+0.2%

+29,400

+1.0%

   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

659,800

658,700

660,700

+1,100

+0.2%

-900

-0.1%

   Information

64,100

64,800

68,200

-700

-1.1%

-4,100

-6.0%

   Finance

208,200

205,600

207,500

+2,600

+1.3%

+700

+0.3%

   Professional and Business Services

762,800

759,100

747,900

+3,700

+0.5%

+14,900

+2.0%

   Education and Health Services

545,700

547,200

540,000

-1,500

-0.3%

+5,700

+1.1%

   Leisure and Hospitality Services

420,100

419,900

407,600

+200

+0.0%

+12,500

+3.1%

   Miscellaneous Services

201,100

201,400

200,500

-300

-0.1%

+600

+0.3%

  Government

723,900

723,700

721,000

+200

+0.0%

+2,900

+0.4%

   Federal Government

179,600

179,400

179,400

+200

+0.1%

+200

+0.1%

   State Government

160,900

160,800

160,200

+100

+0.1%

+700

+0.4%

   Local Government

383,400

383,500

381,400

-100

+0.0%

+2,000

+0.5%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From April 2018 to April 2019, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 43,100 jobs, or 1.1 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 61 consecutive months and has continued to exhibit strength in recent months. In April, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 40,200 jobs, while employment in the public sector rose by 2,900 jobs.

Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains, while the other three experienced employment losses. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 14,900 jobs (+2.0 percent) with 14,200 of the increase coming from the professional, scientific, and technical services subsector. The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 12,500 jobs (+3.1 percent) with 9,600 of the increase coming from the accommodation and food services subsector. Manufacturing experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain of 9,200 jobs (+3.9 percent). Other gains were in the private education and health services sector, up 5,700 jobs (+1.1 percent) and total government which was up by 2,900 jobs (+0.4 percent). Government subsector employment gains came from local government (2,000 jobs), state government (700 jobs), and federal government (200 jobs). Other employment gains were: construction, up 1,700 jobs (+0.9 percent) and finance, up 700 jobs (+0.3 percent). The largest job loss was in information, down 4,100 jobs (-6.0 percent). The other losses were: trade and transportation, down 900 jobs (-0.1 percent) and mining, down 100 jobs (-1.3 percent).

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

March 2019 to
April 2019

April 2018 to
April 2019

April
2019

March
2019

April
2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

4,041,100

4,033,000

3,998,000

+8,100

+0.2%

+43,100

+1.1%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-
Radford MSA

77,100

77,200

77,900

-100

-0.1%

-800

-1.0%

Charlottesville MSA

119,700

119,600

118,600

+100

+0.1%

+1,100

+0.9%

Harrisonburg MSA

68,900

68,900

67,700

+0

+0.0%

+1,200

+1.8%

Lynchburg MSA

105,800

105,800

104,600

+0

+0.0%

+1,200

+1.1%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,508,900

1,504,900

1,483,800

+4,000

+0.3%

+25,100

+1.7%

Richmond MSA

685,400

680,900

676,000

+4,500

+0.7%

+9,400

+1.4%

Roanoke MSA

163,100

163,300

161,500

-200

-0.1%

+1,600

+1.0%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

51,500

51,300

50,400

+200

+0.4%

+1,100

+2.2%

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

795,800

793,600

791,800

+2,200

+0.3%

+4,000

+0.5%

Winchester,
Virginia/West Virginia MSA

65,600

65,200

64,200

+400

+0.6%

+1,400

+2.2%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In April, six metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains; two remained unchanged; and two experienced losses. The largest absolute job gain occurred in the Richmond metropolitan area, with a gain of 4,500 jobs. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area, with a gain of 4,000 jobs, had the second largest job gain. The other metropolitan areas that experienced gains were: Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (+2,200 jobs); Winchester (+400 jobs); Staunton-Waynesboro (+200 jobs); and Charlottesville (+100 jobs). The largest absolute job loss occurred in Roanoke (-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 25,100 jobs (+1.7 percent). Richmond was ranked second, with a gain of 9,400 jobs (+1.4 percent), and 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 (+1,600 jobs); Winchester (+1,400 jobs); Harrisonburg and Lynchburg (+1,200 jobs each); Charlottesville and Staunton-Waynesboro (+1,100 jobs each). The only job losses occurred in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (-800 jobs).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.5 percentage point in April to 2.5 percent, and was down 0.2 percentage point from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed declined by 9,608, household employment rose by 43,205, and the labor force increased by 33,597. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained below the national unadjusted rate, which fell 0.6 percentage point in April to 3.3 percent.

Compared to last month, the April unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 171,200 manufacturing production workers rose by 0.2 hours to 39.6 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.33 to $19.49, and average weekly earnings decreased by $9.11 to $771.80. Compared to last April, the unadjusted workweek decreased by 1.6 hours, average hourly earnings declined by $0.20, and average weekly earnings fell by $39.43.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of April 7-13, 2019.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the April local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.  The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiawLMI.com.

The May statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Friday, June 21, 2019.

Files detailing April's unemployment numbers are available below: