For Release:
May 18, 2018
Contact:
Ann Lang
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3177 or (804) 786-7496

Virginia’s Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate Was Down 0.1 Percentage Point in April to 3.3 Percent

~ Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was up 4,700 jobs between March 2018 and April 2018 ~

RICHMOND—Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.1 percentage point in April to 3.3 percent and was down 0.5 percentage point from a year ago. April’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.3 percent is the lowest rate since the December 2007 rate of 3.3 percent. In April, the labor force expanded by 5,735, which was the third consecutive monthly increase, and at 4,331,079, set a new record high. Household employment increased by 8,738, which was the fourth consecutive monthly increase, and at 4,187,088, also set a new record high. The number of unemployed continued to drop, declining 3,003 to 143,991. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was down 0.2 percentage point in April to 3.9 percent.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 4,700 jobs in April to 3,993,700, which was the fourth consecutive monthly increase and a new record high. March’s initially reported gain of 4,000 jobs was revised upward by 1,800 jobs to an over-the-month gain of 5,800 jobs. In April, private sector employment increased by 5,300 jobs to 3,278,400, while public sector payrolls declined by 600 jobs to 715,300.

From March 2018 to April 2018, seasonally adjusted employment increased in eight major industry divisions and decreased in the other three. The largest job gain during April occurred in the private education and health services sector, which increased by 2,600 jobs to 538,600. In April, health care and social assistance increased by 2,400 jobs, while employment in private education increased by 200 jobs. The second largest over-the-month gain of 1,000 jobs occurred in both professional and business services and in trade and transportation. The 1,000 job increase brought employment in professional and business services to 738,700—with the gains in management of companies (+600 jobs) and in professional, scientific, and technical services (+500 jobs) outweighing the loss in administrative and support services (-100 jobs). For trade and transportation, the 1,000 job increase brought employment to 665,700—with transportation and warehousing posting an increase of 1,100 jobs and wholesale trade posting a slight loss of 100 jobs.  Other employment gains were: 700 jobs each in manufacturing and in leisure and hospitality to 239,300 and 407,100, respectively; 500 jobs in finance to 207,000; 300 jobs in information to 67,700; and 100 jobs in mining to 8,300. The three employment losses were: 800 jobs each in constructionand in miscellaneous services to 200,900 and 205,100, respectively, and 600 jobs in total government to 715,300. For total government, local government employment declined by 1,000 jobs, while federal government increased by 400 jobs.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

March 2018 to
April 2018

April 2017 to
April 2018

April
2018

March
2018

April
2017

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

3,993,700

3,989,000

3,947,400

+4,700

+0.1%

+46,300

+1.2%

Total Private Sector

3,278,400

3,273,100

3,230,700

+5,300

+0.2%

+47,700

+1.5%

Goods-Producing

448,500

448,500

434,400

+0

+0.0%

+14,100

+3.2%

   Mining

8,300

8,200

8,000

+100

+1.2%

+300

+3.8%

   Construction

200,900

201,700

192,000

-800

-0.4%

+8,900

+4.6%

   Manufacturing

239,300

238,600

234,400

+700

+0.3%

+4,900

+2.1%

Service-Providing

3,545,200

3,540,500

3,513,000

+4,700

+0.1%

+32,200

+0.9%

  Private Service-Providing

2,829,900

2,824,600

2,796,300

+5,300

+0.2%

+33,600

+1.2%

   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

665,700

664,700

663,200

+1,000

+0.2%

+2,500

+0.4%

   Information

67,700

67,400

68,100

+300

+0.4%

-400

-0.6%

   Finance

207,000

206,500

204,300

+500

+0.2%

+2,700

+1.3%

   Professional and Business Services

738,700

737,700

726,600

+1,000

+0.1%

+12,100

+1.7%

   Education and Health Services

538,600

536,000

528,300

+2,600

+0.5%

+10,300

+1.9%

   Leisure and Hospitality Services

407,100

406,400

403,800

+700

+0.2%

+3,300

+0.8%

   Miscellaneous Services

205,100

205,900

202,000

-800

-0.4%

+3,100

+1.5%

  Government

715,300

715,900

716,700

-600

-0.1%

-1,400

-0.2%

   Federal Government

177,600

177,200

177,900

+400

+0.2%

-300

-0.2%

   State Government

159,700

159,700

159,900

+0

+0.0%

-200

-0.1%

   Local Government

378,000

379,000

378,900

-1,000

-0.3%

-900

-0.2%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From April 2017 to April 2018, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 46,300 jobs, or 1.2 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 49 consecutive months, and over the last several months, growth has continued to strengthen. In April, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 47,700 jobs, while employment in the public sector declined by 1,400 jobs. Nationally, total nonfarm employment was up 1.6 percent from a year ago.

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 professional and business services, up 12,100 jobs (+1.7 percent). The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in private education and health services, up 10,300 jobs (+1.9 percent). Construction experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain, up 8,900 jobs (+4.6 percent). Other gains were in manufacturing, up 4,900 jobs (+2.1 percent); leisure and hospitality, up 3,300 jobs (+0.8 percent); miscellaneous services, up 3,100 jobs (+1.5 percent); finance, up 2,700 jobs (+1.3 percent); trade and transportation, up 2,500 jobs (+0.4 percent); and mining, up 300 jobs (+3.8 percent). Compared to a-year-ago April, total government fell by 1,400 jobs (-0.2 percent), with losses in all sectors—local government (-900 jobs), federal government (-300 jobs), and state government (-200 jobs). In addition, employment in information was down 400 jobs (-0.6 percent).

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

March 2018 to
April 2018

April 2017 to
April 2018

April
2018

March
2018

April
2017

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

3,993,700

3,989,000

3,947,400

+4,700

+0.1%

+46,300

+1.2%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA

76,200

76,200

76,800

+0

+0.0%

-600

-0.8%

Charlottesville MSA

119,800

119,700

116,000

+100

+0.1%

+3,800

+3.3%

Harrisonburg MSA

68,300

68,200

67,300

+100

+0.1%

+1,000

+1.5%

Lynchburg MSA

105,400

105,200

103,700

+200

+0.2%

+1,700

+1.6%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,476,900

1,478,300

1,456,800

-1,400

-0.1%

+20,100

+1.4%

Richmond MSA

675,500

675,000

670,000

+500

+0.1%

+5,500

+0.8%

Roanoke MSA

160,900

160,500

160,100

+400

+0.2%

+800

+0.5%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

50,500

50,500

50,000

+0

+0.0%

+500

+1.0%

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

781,800

781,000

781,100

+800

+0.1%

+700

+0.1%

Winchester,
Virginia/West Virginia MSA

65,200

65,000

63,100

+200

+0.3%

+2,100

+3.3%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is being produced for ten metropolitan areas. In April, seven metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains; one experienced a loss; and employment in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford and Staunton-Waynesboro metropolitan areas remained unchanged. The largest absolute job increase occurred in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area, with a gain of 800 jobs. The other metropolitan areas that experienced gains were: Richmond (+500 jobs); Roanoke (+400 jobs); Lynchburg and Winchester (+200 jobs each); and Charlottesville and Harrisonburg (+100 jobs each). The only job decline occurred in Northern Virginia, with a loss of 1,400 jobs.

Over the year, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased in all but one metropolitan area. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area experienced the largest absolute job gain, up 20,100 jobs (+1.4 percent). Richmond was ranked second, with a gain of 5,500 jobs (+0.8 percent), and Charlottesville was ranked third, with a gain of 3,800 jobs (+3.3 percent). The remaining metropolitan areas with over-the-year job gains were:  Winchester (+2,100 jobs); Lynchburg (+1,700 jobs); Harrisonburg (+1,000 jobs); Roanoke (+800 jobs); Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (+700 jobs); and Staunton-Waynesboro (+500 jobs). The only job loss occurred in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (-600 jobs).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate was down 0.5 percentage point in April to 2.8 percent and was down 0.7 percentage point from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed decreased by 27,241, household employment increased by 66,051, and as a result, the labor force rose by 38,810. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national unadjusted rate, which was down 0.4 percentage point in April to 3.7 percent.

Compared to last month, the April unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 170,700 manufacturing production workers increased by 1.4 hours to 41.2 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.05 to $19.83, and average weekly earnings increased by $25.78 to $817.00. Compared to last April, the unadjusted workweek increased by 0.9 hour, average hourly earnings increased by $0.31, and average weekly earnings were higher by $30.34.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of April 8-14, 2018.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the April local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.  The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiaLMI.com.
The March statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Friday, June 15, 2018.

Files detailing April's unemployment numbers are available below: