For Release:
September 20, 2019
Contact:
Timothy Aylor
Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Virginia’s Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate Declined 0.1 Percentage Point in August to 2.8 Percent

~ Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was up 1,200 jobs between July 2019 and August 2019 ~

RICHMOND — Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point in August to 2.8 percent, which was unchanged from a year ago. In August, the labor force expanded for the fourteenth consecutive month by 14,204, or 0.3 percent to set a new record high of 4,404,492, as the number of unemployed decreased by 3,551. Household employment increased by 17,755 to set a new high of 4,281,899. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was unchanged at 3.7 percent.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 1,200 jobs in August to 4,041,900. July’s total nonfarm employment was revised upward 10,000, adding to that month’s strong job numbers. In August, private sector employment increased by 1,000 jobs to 3,317,600, while public sector payrolls increased by 200 jobs to 724,300.

From July 2019 to August 2019, seasonally adjusted employment increased in eight major industry divisions and decreased in the other three. The largest job gain during August occurred in leisure and hospitality with a gain of 1,100 jobs to 418,600. The second largest over-the-month gain occurred in miscellaneous services with a gain of 800 jobs to 204,000. Other employment gains were manufacturing (500 jobs) to 246,800 and professional and business services (400 jobs) to 760,900. The largest loss during August occurred in trade and transportation (-1,100 jobs) to 651,300. The second largest loss was information (-900 jobs) to 63,000. A third employment loss was finance (-400 jobs). For total government, gains occurred in federal government (200 jobs) and local government (100 jobs), while state government decreased by 100 jobs.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

July 2019 to
August 2019

August 2018 to
August 2019

August 2019

July
2019

August
2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

4,041,900

4,040,700

4,005,200

1,200

0.0%

36,700

0.9%

Total Private Sector

3,317,600

3,316,600

3,282,100

1,000

0.0%

35,500

1.1%

Goods-Producing

457,500

456,700

446,500

800

0.2%

11,000

2.5%

   Mining

8,200

8,000

7,900

200

2.5%

300

3.8%

   Construction

202,500

202,400

198,100

100

0.0%

4,400

2.2%

   Manufacturing

246,800

246,300

240,500

500

0.2%

6,300

2.6%

Service-Providing

3,584,400

3,584,000

3,558,700

400

0.0%

25,700

0.7%

  Private Service-Providing

2,860,100

2,859,900

2,835,600

200

0.0%

24,500

0.9%

   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

651,300

652,400

658,900

-1,100

-0.2%

-7,600

-1.2%

   Information

63,000

63,900

67,200

-900

-1.4%

-4,200

-6.3%

   Finance

208,900

209,300

208,200

-400

-0.2%

700

0.3%

   Professional and Business Services

760,900

760,500

751,200

400

0.1%

9,700

1.3%

   Education and Health Services

553,400

553,100

540,300

300

0.1%

13,100

2.4%

   Leisure and Hospitality Services

418,600

417,500

408,500

1,100

0.3%

10,100

2.5%

   Miscellaneous Services

204,000

203,200

201,300

800

0.4%

2,700

1.3%

  Government

724,300

724,100

723,100

200

0.0%

1,200

0.2%

   Federal Government

180,400

180,200

179,700

200

0.1%

700

0.4%

   State Government

161,600

161,700

160,700

-100

-0.1%

900

0.6%

   Local Government

382,300

382,200

382,700

100

0.0%

-400

-0.1%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From August 2018 to August 2019, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 36,700 jobs, or 0.9 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 65 consecutive months and has continued to strengthen over the last several months. In August, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 35,500 jobs, while employment in the public sector increased by 1,200 jobs.

Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, nine of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains, while the other two experienced employment losses. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in private education and health services, up 13,100 jobs (+2.4 percent). The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 10,100 jobs (+2.5 percent). Professional and business services experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain of 9,700 jobs (+1.3 percent). Other gains were in manufacturing, up 6,300 jobs (+2.6 percent); construction, up 4,400 jobs (+2.2 percent); miscellaneous services, up 2,700 jobs (+1.3 percent); and total government, up 1,200 jobs (+0.2 percent). Government saw gains in state government employment (900 jobs) and federal government employment (700 jobs) along with a loss in local government employment (-400 jobs). Finance increased by 700 jobs (+0.3%) and mining added 300 jobs (+3.8 percent). The largest job loss occurred in trade and transportation, down 7,600 jobs (-1.2 percent). The second largest was in information, down by 4,200 jobs (-6.3 percent).

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

July 2019 to
August 2019

August 2018 to
August 2019

August
2019

July
2019

August
2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

4,041,900

4,040,700

4,005,200

1,200

0.0%

36,700

0.9%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-
Radford MSA

78,200

77,800

77,700

400

0.5%

500

0.6%

Charlottesville MSA

120,700

120,900

118,300

-200

-0.2%

2,400

2.0%

Harrisonburg MSA

69,300

69,100

68,200

200

0.3%

1,100

1.6%

Lynchburg MSA

106,000

106,000

104,900

0

0.0%

1,100

1.0%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,502,200

1,501,900

1,489,100

300

0.0%

13,100

0.9%

Richmond MSA

685,800

686,600

680,400

-800

-0.1%

5,400

0.8%

Roanoke MSA

163,900

163,900

161,500

0

0.0%

2,400

1.5%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

51,700

51,400

50,700

300

0.6%

1,000

2.0%

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

792,300

796,200

790,300

-3,900

-0.5%

2,000

0.3%

Winchester,
Virginia/West Virginia MSA

65,900

66,000

63,800

-100

-0.2%

2,100

3.3%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In August, four metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains, two were unchanged, and four experienced losses. The largest absolute job gain occurred in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+400 jobs). The second largest absolute job gain occurred in Northern Virginia and Staunton with 300 jobs each. The next largest absolute job gain was in Harrisonburg (+200 jobs). The largest job loss occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (-3,900 jobs). Others with declines include: Richmond (-800 jobs); Charlottesville, (-200 jobs); and Winchester (-100 jobs).

Over the year, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased in all ten metropolitan areas. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area experienced the largest absolute job gain, up 13,100 jobs (+0.9 percent). Richmond was ranked second, with a gain of 5,400 jobs (+0.8 percent), while Charlottesville and Roanoke were ranked third, with gains of 2,400 jobs each (+2.0 and +1.5 percent, respectively). The other over-the-year job gains occurred in: Winchester (+2,100 jobs); Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (+2,000 jobs); Harrisonburg and Lynchburg (+1,100 jobs each); Staunton-Waynesboro (+1,000 jobs); and Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+500 jobs).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point in August to 2.8 percent, which was down 0.3 percentage point from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed decreased by 11,644, household employment increased by 128,128, and the labor force increased by 116,484. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national unadjusted rate, which was down 0.2 percentage point in August to 3.8 percent.

Compared to last month, the August unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 169,400 manufacturing production workers increased by 1.1 hour to 40.3 hours, average hourly earnings decreased $0.36 to $19.48, while average weekly earnings rose $7.31 to $785.04. Compared to last August, the unadjusted workweek decreased by 0.6 hour, average hourly earnings increased by $0.08, and average weekly earnings were lower by $8.42.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of August 11-17, 2019.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the August local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.  The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiaWorks.com.

The September statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Friday, October 18, 2019.

Files detailing August's unemployment numbers are available below: