For Release:
December 22, 2017
Contact:
Ann Lang
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3177 or (804) 786-7496

Virginia’s Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate Was Up 0.1 Percentage Point in November to 3.7 Percent

~ Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was down 5,700 jobs between October 2017 and November 2017 ~

RICHMOND — Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up 0.1 percentage point in November to 3.7 percent, after declining by 0.1 percentage point in each of the previous two months. The November seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.4 percentage point from a year ago. For the most part, the seasonally adjusted unemployment has been trending downward since the peak rate of 7.4 percent in January and February of 2010. November’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly as the number of unemployed rose by 1,564 and the labor force contracted by 11,435, with an employment decline of 12,999. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was unchanged in November at 4.1 percent.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 5,700 jobs in November to 3,966,500, which was the second consecutive monthly decline. In addition, October’s initially reported loss of 5,800 jobs was revised downward by 900 jobs to an over-the-month loss of 6,700 jobs. Upward revisions totaling 4,700 jobs to October’s employment in leisure and hospitality and in finance were more than offset by the downward revisions totaling 5,600 jobs to all the other industries with the exception of mining, which was not revised. The largest three revisions occurred in leisure and hospitality (+4,100 jobs), professional and business services (-2,000 jobs), and local government (-1,000 jobs). In November, private sector employment decreased by 4,800 jobs to 3,254,200, and public sector payrolls decreased by 900 jobs to 712,300.

From October 2017 to November 2017, seasonally adjusted employment decreased in four major industry divisions, increased in six major industry divisions, and was unchanged in mining at 7,800. The largest job loss during November occurred in the trade and transportation sector, which was down 4,700 jobs to 656,600—the second consecutive monthly decline. The job loss in trade and transportation occurred in all sectors: retail trade (-2,600 jobs), wholesale trade (-1,500 jobs), and transportation and warehousing (-600 jobs). The leisure and hospitality sector recorded the second largest over-the-month employment loss. Employment in this sector declined by 2,300 jobs to 404,300—following last month’s revised gain of 2,900 jobs, which was initially reported as a loss of 1,200 jobs. Professional and business services experienced the third largest over-the-month job loss, with a decline of 1,300 jobs to 729,200. In November, the loss in administrative and support services (-2,400 jobs) outweighed the gains in professional, scientific, and technical services (+1,000 jobs) and in management of companies (+100 jobs). Lastly, total government declined by 900 jobs to 712,300, which was the second consecutive monthly decline. For total government, the losses in state (-1,100 jobs) and federal (-800 jobs) government employment outweighed the gain in local government employment (+1,000 jobs). The largest job gain during November occurred in miscellaneous services, which was up 1,100 jobs to 203,300. Other employment gains were: 900 jobs each in manufacturing and construction to 233,600 and 193,200, respectively; 300 jobs in information to 64,600; 200 jobs in finance to 206,600; and 100 jobs in private education and health services to 555,000.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

October 2017 to
November 2017

November 2016 to
November 2017

November 2017

October 2017

November 2016

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

3,966,500

3,972,200

3,932,800

-5,700

-0.1%

+33,700

+0.9%

Total Private Sector

3,254,200

3,259,000

3,218,300

-4,800

-0.1%

+35,900

+1.1%

Goods-Producing

434,600

432,800

429,200

+1,800

+0.4%

+5,400

+1.3%

  Mining

7,800

7,800

7,600

+0

+0.0%

+200

+2.6%

  Construction

193,200

192,300

189,000

+900

+0.5%

+4,200

+2.2%

  Manufacturing

233,600

232,700

232,600

+900

+0.4%

+1,000

+0.4%

Service-Providing

3,531,900

3,539,400

3,503,600

-7,500

-0.2%

+28,300

+0.8%

Private Service-Providing

2,819,600

2,826,200

2,789,100

-6,600

-0.2%

+30,500

+1.1%

  Trade, Transportation,
  and Utilities

656,600

661,300

663,700

-4,700

-0.7%

-7,100

-1.1%

  Information

64,600

64,300

66,600

+300

+0.5%

-2,000

-3.0%

  Finance

206,600

206,400

201,000

+200

+0.1%

+5,600

+2.8%

  Professional and
  Business Services

729,200

730,500

717,500

-1,300

-0.2%

+11,700

+1.6%

  Education and Health Services

555,000

554,900

539,400

+100

+0.0%

+15,600

+2.9%

  Leisure and Hospitality Services

404,300

406,600

399,500

-2,300

-0.6%

+4,800

+1.2%

  Miscellaneous Services

203,300

202,200

201,400

+1,100

+0.5%

+1,900

+0.9%

Government

712,300

713,200

714,500

-900

-0.1%

-2,200

-0.3%

  Federal Government

179,100

179,900

178,100

-800

-0.4%

+1,000

+0.6%

  State Government

160,300

161,400

160,200

-1,100

-0.7%

+100

+0.1%

  Local Government

372,900

371,900

376,200

+1,000

+0.3%

-3,300

-0.9%

 

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From November 2016 to November 2017, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 33,700 jobs, or 0.9 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 44 consecutive months. While over-the-year growth in October and November fell below 1.0 percent, growth in all the preceding months of 2017 exceeded 1.0 percent. In November, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 35,900 jobs, while the public sector recorded an over-the-year loss of 2,200 jobs. Nationally, total nonfarm employment was up 1.4 percent from a year ago.

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 15,600 jobs (+2.9 percent). The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 11,700 jobs (+1.6 percent). Finance experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain, up 5,600 jobs (+2.8 percent). Other gains were in leisure and hospitality, up 4,800 jobs (+1.2 percent); construction, up 4,200 jobs (+2.2 percent); miscellaneous services, up 1,900 jobs (+0.9 percent); manufacturing, up 1,000 jobs (+0.4 percent); and mining, up 200 jobs (+2.6 percent). Compared to a-year-ago November, the largest job loss occurred in trade and transportation, down 7,100 jobs (-1.1 percent). The other losses occurred in total government, down 2,200 jobs (-0.3 percent); and information, down 2,000 jobs (-3.0 percent). For total government, the loss in local government employment (-3,300 jobs) outweighed the gains in federal (+1,000 jobs) and state (+100 jobs) government employment.

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

October 2017 to
November 2017

November 2016 to
November 2017

November
2017

October
2017

November
2016

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

3,966,500

3,972,200

3,932,800

-5,700

-0.1%

+33,700

+0.9%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA

77,900

78,700

77,400

-800

-1.0%

+500

+0.6%

Charlottesville MSA

117,300

116,900

115,100

+400

+0.3%

+2,200

+1.9%

Harrisonburg MSA

68,700

69,100

67,500

-400

-0.6%

+1,200

+1.8%

Lynchburg MSA

103,900

104,400

104,000

-500

-0.5%

-100

-0.1%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,463,500

1,460,800

1,449,500

+2,700

+0.2%

+14,000

+1.0%

Richmond MSA

676,800

679,800

667,200

-3,000

-0.4%

+9,600

+1.4%

Roanoke MSA

164,500

164,700

162,100

-200

-0.1%

+2,400

+1.5%

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

764,000

765,300

770,900

-1,300

-0.2%

-6,900

-0.9%

Winchester, Virginia/West Virginia MSA

63,800

63,800

62,700

+0

+0.0%

+1,100

+1.8%

 

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is being produced for nine metropolitan areas. In November, six metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job losses, two metropolitan areas experienced employment gains, and employment in the Winchester metropolitan area remained unchanged. The largest absolute job decline occurred in the Richmond metropolitan area, with a loss of 3,000 jobs. The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area experienced the next largest job loss, with a decrease of 1,300 jobs. The third largest job loss occurred in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan area, with a decrease of 800 jobs. The other metropolitan areas that experienced losses were: Lynchburg (-500 jobs); Harrisonburg (-400 jobs); and Roanoke (-200 jobs). The largest absolute job gain occurred in the Northern Virginia metropolitan area, with an increase of 2,700 jobs. The other metropolitan area that experienced a job gain was Charlottesville (+400 jobs).

Over the year, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased in seven metropolitan areas and decreased in the other two metropolitan areas. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area experienced the largest absolute job gain, up 14,000 jobs (+1.0 percent). Richmond was ranked second, with a gain of 9,600 jobs (+1.4 percent), and Roanoke was ranked third, with a gain of 2,400 jobs (+1.5 percent). The remaining metropolitan areas with over-the-year job gains were: Charlottesville (+2,200 jobs); Harrisonburg (+1,200 jobs); Winchester (+1,100 jobs); and Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+500 jobs). The metropolitan areas with over-the-year losses were Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (-6,900 jobs) and Lynchburg (-100 jobs).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate was up 0.1 percentage point in November to 3.6 percent but was down 0.2 percentage point from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed decreased by 4,319, household employment increased by 25,816, and as a result, the labor force rose by 21,497. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national unadjusted rate, which was unchanged in November at 3.9 percent.

Compared to last month, the November unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 169,700 manufacturing production workers increased by 0.9 hour to 41.7 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.11 to $19.23, and average weekly earnings increased by $12.82 to $801.89. Compared to last November, the unadjusted workweek increased by 1.5 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.04, and average weekly earnings were higher by $30.45.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of November 12-18, 2017.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the November local area unemployment rates on Thursday, January 4, 2018. The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiaLMI.com.

The December statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

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Please see the files below for detailed analysis of this month's unemployment numbers: