For Release:
September 16, 2022
Contact:
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976
timothy.aylor@vec.virginia.gov

Virginia’s August Unemployment Rate Decreased to 2.6 Percent; Labor Force Participation Rate Edged Lower to 63.7% and Unemployed Virginians Fell by 1,956

RICHMOND— Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased in August to 2.6 percent, which is 1.0 percentage point below the rate from a year ago. According to household survey data in August, the labor force decreased by 7,142 to 4,346,858 as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 1,956 to 114,103. The number of employed residents dropped by 5,186 to 4,232,755. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which rose to 3.7 percent.

The Commonwealth’s labor force participation rate edged lower to 63.7 percent in August. The labor force participation rate measures the proportion of the civilian population age 16 and older that is employed or actively looking for work.

Virginia’s nonagricultural employment, from the monthly establishment survey, rose by 16,700 jobs in August to 4,085,300. July’s preliminary estimate was revised down by 2,200, subtracting from that month’s job gain. In August, private sector employment increased by 7,400 jobs to 3,361,900 while public sector employment climbed by 9,300 to 723,400. Increases within that sector occurred in local government (+8,700 jobs), federal government (+300 jobs), and state government employment (+300 jobs).

Employment rose in eight of eleven major industry sectors, was unchanged in one, and declined in two. The largest job gain during August occurred in government employment, with an increase of 9,300 jobs to 723,400. The second largest increase occurred in miscellaneous (+2,400 jobs) to 188,000. Education and health services was third, with a gain of 2,100 jobs, rising to 568,600. Other increases included professional and business services (+1,900 jobs) to 795,100, manufacturing (+1,600 jobs) to 239,400, trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,600 jobs) to 670,900, construction (+700 jobs) to 205,800, and information (+400 jobs) to 70,400. Mining and Logging was unchanged at 7,500. The largest job loss during August occurred in leisure and hospitality (-2,400 jobs) to 410,300. The second largest decrease occurred in finance, with a decrease of 900 jobs to 205,900.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

July 2022 to
August 2022

August 2021 to
August 2022

August
2022

July
2022

August
2021

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

4,085,300

4,068,600

3,967,200

16,700

0.4%

118,100

3.0%

Total Private Sector

3,361,900

3,354,500

3,251,300

7,400

0.2%

110,600

3.4%

Goods-Producing

452,700

450,400

449,500

2,300

0.5%

3,200

0.7%

   Mining

7,500

7,500

7,000

0

0.0%

500

7.1%

   Construction

205,800

205,100

205,700

700

0.3%

100

0.0%

   Manufacturing

239,400

237,800

236,800

1,600

0.7%

2,600

1.1%

Service-Providing

3,632,600

3,618,200

3,517,700

14,400

0.4%

114,900

3.3%

  Private Service-Providing

2,909,200

2,904,100

2,801,800

5,100

0.2%

107,400

3.8%

   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

670,900

669,300

655,700

1,600

0.2%

15,200

2.3%

   Information

70,400

70,000

66,000

400

0.6%

4,400

6.7%

   Finance

205,900

206,800

210,200

-900

-0.4%

-4,300

-2.0%

   Professional and Business Services

795,100

793,200

778,800

1,900

0.2%

16,300

2.1%

   Education and Health Services

568,600

566,500

538,000

2,100

0.4%

30,600

5.7%

   Leisure and Hospitality Services

410,300

412,700

368,400

-2,400

-0.6%

41,900

11.4%

   Miscellaneous Services

188,000

185,600

184,700

2,400

1.3%

3,300

1.8%

  Government

723,400

714,100

715,900

9,300

1.3%

7,500

1.0%

   Federal Government

187,800

187,500

186,700

300

0.2%

1,100

0.6%

   State Government

155,100

154,800

152,100

300

0.2%

3,000

2.0%

   Local Government

380,500

371,800

377,100

8,700

2.3%

3,400

0.9%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From August 2021 to August 2022, the VEC estimates that establishments in Virginia gained 118,100 jobs, an increase of 3.0%. In August, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 110,600 jobs, while employment in the public sector increased by 7,500 jobs.

Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, ten of eleven major industry divisions experienced employment increases while one saw an employment decrease. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 41,900 jobs (+11.4%). The second-largest over-the-year job gain occurred in education and health services, up 30,600 jobs (+5.7%). The third largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 16,300 jobs (+2.1%). Other job gains occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities (+15,200 jobs), government (+7,500 jobs), information (+4,400 jobs), miscellaneous services (+3,300 jobs), manufacturing (+2,600 jobs), mining and logging (+500 jobs), and construction (+100 jobs). The only job loss occurred in finance, with a decrease of 4,300 jobs. Within government, local government (+3,400 jobs), state government (+3,000 jobs), and federal government (+1,100 jobs) all saw increases in employment.

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*

Area

Employment

July 2022 to
August 2022

August 2021 to
August 2022

August
2022

July
2022

August
2021

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

4,085,300

4,068,600

3,967,200

16,700

0.4%

118,100

3.0%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-
Radford MSA

81,200

81,000

77,500

200

0.2%

3,700

4.8%

Charlottesville MSA

118,700

118,700

116,700

0

0.0%

2,000

1.7%

Harrisonburg MSA

70,200

70,000

68,900

200

0.3%

1,300

1.9%

Lynchburg MSA

104,700

104,500

101,600

200

0.2%

3,100

3.1%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,533,700

1,532,100

1,498,000

1,600

0.1%

35,700

2.4%

Richmond MSA

679,600

680,200

672,400

-600

-0.1%

7,200

1.1%

Roanoke MSA

159,700

160,300

158,400

-600

-0.4%

1,300

0.8%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

51,800

51,500

49,800

300

0.6%

2,000

4.0%

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

786,200

782,000

770,800

4,200

0.5%

15,400

2.0%

Winchester,
Virginia/West Virginia MSA

68,300

68,300

67,200

0

0.0%

1,100

1.6%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In August, six metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains, two were unchanged, and two experienced declines. The largest absolute job increase occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (+4,200 jobs). The next largest absolute job gain occurred in Northern Virginia (+1,600 jobs). The third largest increase occurred in Staunton-Waynesboro (+300 jobs). Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Harrisonburg, and Lynchburg each added 200 jobs. Charlottesville and Winchester were unchanged over the month. The largest absolute job decreases occurred in Richmond and Roanoke (-600 jobs apiece).

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 35,700 jobs. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News was next, with a gain of 15,400 jobs. Richmond was third, with a gain of 7,200 jobs. Other over-the-year job gains occurred in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+3,700 jobs), Lynchburg (+3,100 jobs), Charlottesville and Staunton-Waynesboro (+2,000 jobs apiece), Harrisonburg and Roanoke (+1,300 jobs apiece), and Winchester (+1,100 jobs).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate increased 0.3 of a percentage point in August to 3.2 percent. This is 0.8 of a percentage point lower than the rate from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed decreased by 31,716, household employment increased by 113,462, and the labor force increased by 81,746. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national unadjusted rate, which was unchanged in August at 3.8 percent.

Compared to last month, the August unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 154,900 manufacturing production workers increased by 0.8 of an hour to 42.9 hours. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production workers fell by $0.38 to $21.80 in August and average weekly earnings increased by $1.44 to $935.22.

###

Technical note: Estimates of unemployment and industry employment levels are obtained from two separate monthly surveys. Resident employment and unemployment data are mainly derived from the Virginia portion of the national Current Population Survey (CPS), a household survey conducted each month by the U.S. Census Bureau under contract with BLS, which provides input to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program (often referred to as the “household” survey). Industry employment data is mainly derived from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a monthly survey of approximately 18,000 Virginia businesses conducted by BLS, which provides estimates of employment, hours, and earnings data broken down by industry for the nation as a whole, all states and most major metropolitan areas (often referred to as the “establishment” survey). Both industry and household estimates are revised each month based on additional information from updated survey reports compiled by the BLS. For national figures and information on how COVID-19 affected collection of the BLS establishment and household surveys in April 2020, refer to the BLS August 2022 Employment Situation press release for details.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of August 7-13, 2022.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the August local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. The data will be available on our website www.VirginiaWorks.com. The September 2022 statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Friday, October 21, 2022.


Files detailing August's unemployment numbers are available below: