For Release:
November 16, 2018
Contact:
Conrad Buckler
Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-8264 or (804) 786-7496

Virginia’s Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate Held Steady in October at 2.9 Percent

~ Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was up 2,700 jobs between September 2018 and October 2018 ~

RICHMOND—Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in October at 2.9 percent. The October 2018 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Virginia was down 0.7 percentage point from a year ago and continued to be the lowest rate since the June 2007 rate of 2.9 percent. In October, the labor force expanded by 494, as the number of unemployed dropped by 1,679 and household employment increased by 2,173. 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 2,700 jobs in October to 4,027,700, which was the tenth consecutive monthly increase and a new record high. Local Government’s initially reported loss of 1,500 jobs in September was revised downward by 1,100 jobs to an over-the-month loss of 2,600 jobs. The employment losses in local government continued in October for a loss of 2,700 jobs from the revised September total. In October, private sector employment increased by 5,600 jobs to 3,330,700, while public sector payrolls decreased by 2,900 jobs to 697,000.

From September 2018 to October 2018, seasonally adjusted employment increased in six major industry divisions, held steady in mining, and decreased in the other four. The largest job gain during October occurred in professional and business services which increased by 3,200 jobs to 754,000. In October, gains were experienced in all subsectors: professional, scientific, and technical services (+2,000 jobs); administrative and support services (+1,000 jobs); and management of companies (+200 jobs). The second largest over-the-month gain occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector, with a gain of 1,400 jobs to 415,600. Other employment gains were: 900 jobs in private education and health services to 546,800; 700 jobs in construction to 203,600; 600 jobs in miscellaneous services to 207,400; and 200 jobs in finance to 211,100. The largest loss during October occurred in total government, which declined by 2,900 jobs to 697,000. For total government, losses occurred at: local government (-2,700 jobs) and state government (-200 jobs), with federal government holding steady. The next largest over-the-month loss occurred in trade and transportation (-900 jobs) to 674,500. Other employment losses were: 400 jobs in information to 66,300; and 100 jobs in manufacturing to 243,000. 

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

September 2018 to
October 2018

October 2017 to
October 2018

October
2018

September
2018

October
2017

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

4,027,700

4,025,000

3,956,300

+2,700

+0.1%

+71,400

+1.8%

Total Private Sector

3,330,700

3,325,100

3,240,500

+5,600

+0.2%

+90,200

+2.8%

Goods-Producing

455,000

454,400

436,600

+600

+0.1%

+18,400

+4.2%

   Mining

8,400

8,400

8,100

0

0.0%

+300

+3.7%

   Construction

203,600

202,900

194,900

+700

+0.3%

+8,700

+4.5%

   Manufacturing

243,000

243,100

233,600

-100

-0.0%

+9,400

+4.0%

Service-Providing

3,572,700

3,570,600

3,519,700

+2,100

+0.1%

+53,000

+1.5%

  Private Service-Providing

2,875,700

2,870,700

2,803,900

+5,000

+0.2%

+71,800

+2.6%

   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

674,500

675,400

662,200

-900

-0.1%

+12,300

+1.9%

   Information

66,300

66,700

66,400

-400

-0.6%

-100

-0.2%

   Finance

211,100

210,900

205,600

+200

+0.1%

+5,500

+2.7%

   Professional and Business Services

754,000

750,800

733,800

+3,200

+0.4%

+20,200

+2.8%

   Education and Health Services

546,800

545,900

531,500

+900

+0.2%

+15,300

+2.9%

   Leisure and Hospitality Services

415,600

414,200

400,800

+1,400

+0.3%

+14,800

+3.7%

   Miscellaneous Services

207,400

206,800

203,600

+600

+0.3%

+3,800

+1.9%

  Government

697,000

699,900

715,800

-2,900

-0.4%

-18,800

-2.6%

   Federal Government

176,400

176,400

177,600

0

0.0%

-1,200

-0.7%

   State Government

159,500

159,700

159,300

-200

-0.1%

+200

+0.1%

   Local Government

361,100

363,800

378,900

-2,700

-0.7%

-17,800

-4.7%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From October 2017 to October 2018, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 71,400 jobs, or 1.8 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 55 consecutive months and has continued to strengthen over the last several months. For August, September, and October, Virginia’s over-the-year growth was the same or better than the national rate where in previous months it had not been as strong as the national rate. In October, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 90,200 jobs, while employment in the public sector declined by 18,800 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 professional and business services, up 20,200 jobs (+2.8 percent). The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in private education and health services, up 15,300 jobs (+2.9 percent). Leisure and hospitality experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain, up 14,800 jobs (+3.7 percent). Other gains were in trade and transportation, up 12,300 jobs (+1.9 percent); manufacturing, up 9,400 jobs (+4.0 percent); construction, up 8,700 jobs (+4.5 percent); finance, up 5,500 jobs (+2.7 percent); miscellaneous services, up 3,800 jobs (+1.9 percent); and mining, up 300 jobs (+3.7 percent). Compared to a-year-ago October, total government fell by 18,800 jobs (-2.6 percent), with the losses in local (-17,800 jobs) and federal (-1,200 jobs) government employment outweighing the gain in state government employment (+200 jobs). In addition, employment in information was down 100 jobs (-0.2 percent).

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

September 2018 to
October 2018

October 2017 to
October 2018

October
2
018

September
2018

October
2017

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

4,027,700

4,025,000

3,956,300

+2,700

+0.1%

+71,400

+1.8%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-
Radford MSA

77,500

76,800

75,500

+700

+0.9%

+2,000

+2.6%

Charlottesville MSA

121,700

122,300

117,900

-600

-0.5%

+3,800

+3.2%

Harrisonburg MSA

68,200

68,100

67,500

+100

+0.1%

+700

+1.0%

Lynchburg MSA

106,000

106,000

104,000

0

0.0%

+2,000

+1.9%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,486,300

1,486,000

1,467,000

+300

0.0%

+19,300

+1.3%

Richmond MSA

682,200

681,400

673,000

+800

+0.1%

+9,200

+1.4%

Roanoke MSA

163,400

163,200

159,800

+200

+0.1%

+3,600

+2.3%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

51,300

51,000

50,100

+300

+0.6%

+1,200

+2.4%

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

789,500

787,700

780,000

+1,800

+0.2%

+9,500

+1.2%

Winchester,
Virginia/West Virginia MSA

66,100

65,900

64,100

+200

+0.3%

+2,000

+3.1%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In October, eight metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains, Lynchburg held flat, while one experienced a loss. The largest absolute job gain occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (+1,800 jobs). Richmond, with a gain of 800 jobs, had the second largest job gain. The other metropolitan areas that experienced gains were: Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, with a gain of 700 jobs; Northern Virginia and Staunton-Waynesboro (+300 jobs each); Roanoke and Winchester (+200 jobs each); and Harrisonburg (+100 jobs). The only absolute job loss occurred in Charlottesville (-600 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 19,300 jobs (+1.3 percent). Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News was ranked second, with a gain of 9,500 jobs (+1.2 percent), and Richmond was ranked third, with a gain of 9,200 jobs (+1.4 percent). The other over-the-year job gains occurred in: Charlottesville (+3,800 jobs); Roanoke (+3,600 jobs); Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Lynchburg, and Winchester (+2,000 jobs each); Staunton-Waynesboro (+1,200 jobs); and Harrisonburg (+700 jobs).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate was up 0.1 percentage point in October to 2.8 percent, after being revised downwards to 2.7 percent for September, but was down 0.6 percentage point from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed decreased by 26,292, household employment increased by 69,098, and the labor force increased by 42,806. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national unadjusted rate, which was down 0.1 percentage point in October to 3.5 percent.

Compared to last month, the October unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 172,900 manufacturing production workers increased by 0.2 hour to 41.0 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.14 to $19.37, and average weekly earnings decreased by $1.84 to $794.17. Compared to last October, the unadjusted workweek decreased by 0.3 hour, average hourly earnings increased by $0.02, and average weekly earnings were lower by $4.99.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of October 7-13, 2018.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the October local area unemployment rates on Thursday, November 29, 2018.  The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiaLMI.com.

The November statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Friday, December 21, 2018.

Files detailing October's unemployment numbers are available below: