For Release:
September 21, 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 August to 3.0 Percent

~ Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was up 4,800 jobs between July 2018 and August 2018 ~

RICHMOND - Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point in August to 3.0 percent and was down 0.7 percentage point from a year ago. August’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.0 percent is the lowest rate since the July 2007 rate of 3.0 percent. The labor force continued to expand in August; however, the increase was by only a slight 75, bringing the labor force to a new record high of 4,356,189. Household employment increased by 3,284, which was the eighth consecutive monthly increase, and at 4,226,073, also set a new record high. The number of unemployed continued to drop, declining by 3,209 to 130,116. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was unchanged at 3.9 percent.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 4,800 jobs in August to 4,010,700, which was the eighth consecutive monthly increase and a new record high. July’s initially reported gain of 12,000 jobs was revised downward by 11,500 jobs to an over-the-month gain of 500 jobs. The largest downward revision occurred in local government employment, which was revised downward by 10,700 jobs. In August, private sector employment increased by 4,200 jobs to 3,306,400, while public sector payrolls increased by 600 jobs to 704,300.

From July 2018 to August 2018, seasonally adjusted employment increased in seven major industry divisions, decreased in three, and remained unchanged in mining at 8,400. The largest job gain during August occurred in the professional and business services sector, which increased by 4,000 jobs to 750,500. The job gains occurred in all of the subsectors: professional, scientific, and technical services (+2,100 jobs); administrative and support services (+1,600 jobs); and management of companies (+300 jobs). The second largest over-the-month gain occurred in construction, with a gain of 1,400 jobs to 202,300. Other employment gains were: 600 jobs each in trade and transportation, leisure and hospitality, and total government to 671,000, 410,500, and 704,300, respectively; and 100 jobs each in finance and private education and health services to 211,300 and 539,400, respectively. For total government, the gains in local (+700 jobs) and state (+400 jobs) government employment outweighed the loss in federal government employment (-500 jobs). The largest job loss during August occurred in miscellaneous services, which decreased by 1,700 jobs to 205,200. Other employment losses were 700 jobs in information to 66,100 and 200 jobs in manufacturing to 241,700.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

July 2018 to
August 2018

August 2017 to
August 2018

August
2018

July
2018

August
2017

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

4,010,700

4,005,900

3,955,900

+4,800

+0.1%

+54,800

+1.4%

Total Private Sector

3,306,400

3,302,200

3,238,200

+4,200

+0.1%

+68,200

+2.1%

Goods-Producing

452,400

451,200

435,100

+1,200

+0.3%

+17,300

+4.0%

   Mining

8,400

8,400

8,100

+0

+0.0%

+300

+3.7%

   Construction

202,300

200,900

193,100

+1,400

+0.7%

+9,200

+4.8%

   Manufacturing

241,700

241,900

233,900

-200

-0.1%

+7,800

+3.3%

Service-Providing

3,558,300

3,554,700

3,520,800

+3,600

+0.1%

+37,500

+1.1%

  Private Service-Providing

2,854,000

2,851,000

2,803,100

+3,000

+0.1%

+50,900

+1.8%

   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

671,000

670,400

662,900

+600

+0.1%

+8,100

+1.2%

   Information

66,100

66,800

67,700

-700

-1.0%

-1,600

-2.4%

   Finance

211,300

211,200

206,200

+100

+0.0%

+5,100

+2.5%

   Professional and Business Services

750,500

746,500

731,700

+4,000

+0.5%

+18,800

+2.6%

   Education and Health Services

539,400

539,300

529,200

+100

+0.0%

+10,200

+1.9%

   Leisure and Hospitality Services

410,500

409,900

403,000

+600

+0.1%

+7,500

+1.9%

   Miscellaneous Services

205,200

206,900

202,400

-1,700

-0.8%

+2,800

+1.4%

  Government

704,300

703,700

717,700

+600

+0.1%

-13,400

-1.9%

   Federal Government

177,300

177,800

177,500

-500

-0.3%

-200

-0.1%

   State Government

160,400

160,000

159,200

+400

+0.3%

+1,200

+0.8%

   Local Government

366,600

365,900

381,000

+700

+0.2%

-14,400

-3.8%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From August 2017 to August 2018, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 54,800 jobs, or 1.4 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 53 consecutive months and has exceeded 1.0 percent the past five months. In August, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 68,200 jobs, while employment in the public sector declined by 13,400 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 18,800 jobs (+2.6 percent). The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in private education and health services, up 10,200 jobs (+1.9 percent). Construction experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain, up 9,200 jobs (+4.8 percent). Other gains were in trade and transportation, up 8,100 jobs (+1.2 percent); manufacturing, up 7,800 jobs (+3.3 percent); leisure and hospitality, up 7,500 jobs (+1.9 percent); finance, up 5,100 jobs (+2.5 percent); miscellaneous services, up 2,800 jobs (+1.4 percent); and mining, up 300 jobs (+3.7 percent). Compared to a-year-ago August, total government fell by 13,400 jobs (-1.9 percent), with the losses in local (-14,400 jobs) and federal (-200 jobs) government employment outweighing the gain in state government employment (+1,200 jobs). In addition, employment in information was down 1,600 jobs (-2.4 percent).

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

July 2018 to
August 2018

August 2017 to
August 2018

August
2018

July
2018

August
2017

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

4,010,700

4,005,900

3,955,900

+4,800

+0.1%

+54,800

+1.4%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-
Radford MSA

78,400

77,200

77,000

+1,200

+1.6%

+1,400

+1.8%

Charlottesville MSA

122,000

121,500

116,800

+500

+0.4%

+5,200

+4.5%

Harrisonburg MSA

67,900

68,100

67,600

-200

-0.3%

+300

+0.4%

Lynchburg MSA

106,200

105,400

103,800

+800

+0.8%

+2,400

+2.3%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,476,000

1,474,000

1,460,800

+2,000

+0.1%

+15,200

+1.0%

Richmond MSA

680,700

682,400

674,600

-1,700

-0.2%

+6,100

+0.9%

Roanoke MSA

161,500

161,600

159,900

-100

-0.1%

+1,600

+1.0%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

50,600

50,600

49,700

+0

+0.0%

+900

+1.8%

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

786,100

785,500

780,600

+600

+0.1%

+5,500

+0.7%

Winchester,
Virginia/West Virginia MSA

65,500

65,500

63,700

+0

+0.0%

+1,800

+2.8%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In August, five metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains; three experienced losses; and employment in the Staunton-Waynesboro and Winchester metropolitan areas remained unchanged. The largest absolute job gain occurred in Northern Virginia, with a gain of 2,000 jobs. The other metropolitan areas that experienced gains were: Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+1,200 jobs); Lynchburg (+800 jobs); Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (+600 jobs); and Charlottesville (+500 jobs). The largest absolute job loss occurred in the Richmond metropolitan area, with a loss of 1,700 jobs.  The other metropolitan areas that experienced losses were Harrisonburg (-200 jobs); and Roanoke (-100 jobs).

Over the year, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased in all metropolitan areas. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area experienced the largest absolute job gain, up 15,200 jobs (+1.0 percent). Richmond was ranked second, with a gain of 6,100 jobs (+0.9 percent), and Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News was ranked third, with a gain of 5,500 jobs (+0.7 percent). The other over-the-year job gains occurred in:  Charlottesville (+5,200 jobs); Lynchburg (+2,400 jobs); Winchester (+1,800 jobs); Roanoke (+1,600 jobs); Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+1,400 jobs); Staunton-Waynesboro (+900 jobs); and Harrisonburg (+300 jobs).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate was up 0.2 percentage point in August to 3.1 percent, but was down 0.8 percentage point from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed decreased by 37,192, household employment increased by 59,183, and as a result, the labor force rose by 21,991. 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 3.9 percent.

Compared to last month, the August unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 171,900 manufacturing production workers increased by 1.5 hours to 40.8 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.50 to $19.21, and average weekly earnings increased by $9.17 to $783.77. Compared to last August, the unadjusted workweek decreased by 0.2 hour, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.18, and average weekly earnings were lower by $11.22.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of August 12-18, 2018.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the August local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, October 3, 2018. The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiaLMI.com.

The September statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Friday, October 19, 2018.

Files detailing August's unemployment numbers are available below: