For Release:
June 21, 2019
Contact:
Conrad Buckler
Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-8264 or (804) 786-7496

Virginia’s Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate Was Up 0.1 Percentage Point in May to 3.0 Percent

~ Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was down 3,200 jobs between April 2019 and May 2019 ~

RICHMOND — Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage point in May to 3.0 percent, which equals the rate from a year ago. In May, the labor force expanded for the eleventh consecutive month by 5,817, or 0.1 percent to set a new record high of 4,368,510, as the number of unemployed increased by 1,748. Household employment increased by 4,069 to set a new high of 4,239,506. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was unchanged at 3.6 percent.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 3,200 jobs in May to 4,032,200. April’s total nonfarm employment was revised downward 5,700, tempering that month’s encouraging job numbers. In May, private sector employment decreased by 3,000 jobs to 3,308,700, while public sector payrolls decreased by 200 jobs to 723,500.

From April 2019 to May 2019, seasonally adjusted employment increased in four major industry divisions, held steady in information, and decreased in the other six. The largest job gain during May occurred in private education and health services with a gain of 3,800 jobs to 549,000. The second largest over-the-month gain occurred in construction with a gain of 800 jobs to 199,700. Other employment gains were miscellaneous services (200 jobs) to 201,500 and mining (100 jobs) to 8,000.  The largest loss during May occurred in professional and business services which declined by 3,700 jobs to 758,400. Other employment losses were: trade and transportation (-1,400 jobs) to 657,200; leisure and hospitality (-1,200 jobs) to 417,900; finance, (-1,100 jobs) to 206,700; manufacturing (-500 jobs) to 245,900 and total government (-200 jobs) to 723,500. For total government, gains occurred at: federal government (200 jobs) and state government (400 jobs), with local government decreasing 800 jobs.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

April 2019 to
May 2019

May 2018 to
May 2019

May 2019

April  2019

May 2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

4,032,200

4,035,400

4,000,200

-3,200

-0.1%

32,000

0.8%

Total Private Sector

3,308,700

3,311,700

3,277,900

-3,000

-0.1%

30,800

0.9%

Goods-Producing

453,600

453,200

444,600

400

0.1%

9,000

2.0%

   Mining

8,000

7,900

7,900

100

1.3%

100

1.3%

   Construction

199,700

198,900

197,000

800

0.4%

2,700

1.4%

   Manufacturing

245,900

246,400

239,700

-500

-0.2%

6,200

2.6%

Service-Providing

3,578,600

3,582,200

3,555,600

-3,600

-0.1%

23,000

0.6%

  Private Service-Providing

2,855,100

2,858,500

2,833,300

-3,400

-0.1%

21,800

0.8%

   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

657,200

658,600

661,400

-1,400

-0.2%

-4,200

-0.6%

   Information

64,400

64,400

68,100

0

0.0%

-3,700

-5.4%

   Finance

206,700

207,800

207,700

-1,100

-0.5%

-1,000

-0.5%

   Professional and Business Services

758,400

762,100

749,500

-3,700

-0.5%

8,900

1.2%

   Education and Health Services

549,000

545,200

538,200

3,800

0.7%

10,800

2.0%

   Leisure and Hospitality Services

417,900

419,100

407,900

-1,200

-0.3%

10,000

2.5%

   Miscellaneous Services

201,500

201,300

200,500

200

0.1%

1,000

0.5%

  Government

723,500

723,700

722,300

-200

0.0%

1,200

0.2%

   Federal Government

179,800

179,600

179,300

200

0.1%

500

0.3%

   State Government

161,400

161,000

160,600

400

0.2%

800

0.5%

   Local Government

382,300

383,100

382,400

-800

-0.2%

-100

0.0%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From May 2018 to May 2019, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 32,000 jobs, or 0.8 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 62 consecutive months and has continued to strengthen over the last several months. In May, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 30,800 jobs, while employment in the public sector increased as well by 1,200 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 private education and health services, up 10,800 jobs (+2.0 percent). The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 10,000 jobs (+2.5 percent). Professional and business services experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain of 8,900 jobs (+1.2 percent). Other gains were in manufacturing, up 6,200 jobs (+2.6 percent); construction, up 2,700 jobs (+1.4 percent); total government up by 1,200 jobs (+0.2 percent), with gains in federal (500 jobs), and state government employment (800 jobs); along with a loss in local (-100 jobs); miscellaneous services, up 1,000 jobs (+0.5 percent); and mining up 100 jobs (1.3 percent). The largest job loss was in trade and transportation, down 4,200 jobs (-0.6 percent). The second largest was in information, down 3,700 jobs (-5.4 percent). The other loss was in finance, down 1,000 jobs (-0.5 percent).

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

April 2019 to
May 2019

May 2018 to
May 2019

May
2019

April
2019

May
2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

4,032,200

4,035,400

4,000,200

-3,200

-0.1%

32,000

0.8%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-
Radford MSA

77,100

77,100

77,900

0

0.0%

-800

-1.0%

Charlottesville MSA

119,600

119,800

118,600

-200

-0.2%

1,000

0.8%

Harrisonburg MSA

69,000

69,000

68,000

0

0.0%

1,000

1.5%

Lynchburg MSA

105,700

106,000

104,900

-300

-0.3%

800

0.8%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,508,500

1,506,900

1,485,400

1,600

0.1%

23,100

1.6%

Richmond MSA

681,900

683,600

676,300

-1,700

-0.2%

5,600

0.8%

Roanoke MSA

163,300

163,300

161,500

0

0.0%

1,800

1.1%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

51,400

51,400

50,500

0

0.0%

900

1.8%

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

795,100

795,200

793,100

-100

0.0%

2,000

0.3%

Winchester,
Virginia/West Virginia MSA

65,300

65,600

64,300

-300

-0.5%

1,000

1.6%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In May, one metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains, four remained unchanged, while five experienced losses. The only absolute job gain occurred in Northern Virginia (+1,600 jobs). Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Harrisonburg, Roanoke, and Staunton-Waynesboro remained unchanged in May. The largest job loss occurred in Richmond (-1,700 jobs).  The other losses were: Lynchburg, and Winchester (-300 jobs each); Charlottesville, (-200 jobs); and Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, with a loss of 100 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 23,100 jobs (+1.6 percent). Richmond was ranked second, with a gain of 5,600 jobs (+0.8 percent), and Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News was ranked third, with a gain of 2,000 jobs (+0.3 percent). The other over-the-year job gains occurred in: Roanoke (+1,800 jobs); Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, and Winchester (+1,000 jobs each); Staunton-Waynesboro (+900 jobs); Lynchburg (+800 jobs). The only job losses occurred in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (-800 jobs).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate was up 0.4 percentage point in May to 2.9 percent, and was up 0.1 percentage point from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed increased by 4,149, household employment increased by 49,901, and the labor force increased by 54,050. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national unadjusted rate, which was up 0.1 percentage point in May to 3.4 percent.

Compared to last month, the May unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 169,800 manufacturing production workers increased by 0.8 hour to 40.3 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.29 to $19.23, and average weekly earnings increased by $3.93 to $774.97. Compared to last May, the unadjusted workweek decreased by 0.4 hour, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.43, and average weekly earnings were lower by $25.19.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of May 12-18, 2019.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the May local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.  The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiaWLMI.com.

The June statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Friday, July 19, 2019.

Files detailing May's unemployment numbers are available below: