For Release:
May 17, 2024
Contact:
Department of Workforce Development and Advancement
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-7496

Virginia’s April’s Unemployment Rate Decreased 0.1 percentage points to 2.8 Percent; Labor Force Participation Rate Decreased 0.1 percentage points to 66.4 Percent and Employment Increased by 517 to 4,455,081

RICHMOND— Virginia Works today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 2.8 percent, which is 0.1 percentage points above the rate from a year ago. According to household survey data in April, the labor force decreased by 4,375 to 4,584,350 as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 4,892 to 129,269. The number of employed residents increased by 517 to 4,455,081. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 1.1 percentage points below the national rate, which increased by 0.1 percentage points to 3.9 percent.

The Commonwealth’s labor force participation rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 66.4 percent in April. The labor force participation rate measures the proportion of the civilian population age 16 and older that is employed or actively looking for work.

In April, Virginia’s nonagricultural employment, from the monthly establishment survey increased by 3,400 to 4,233,400. March’s preliminary estimate of employment, after revision, increased by 1,700 to 4,230,000. In April, private sector employment increased by 7,000 to 3,488,200 while government employment decreased by 3,600 to 745,200. Within that sector, federal government jobs decreased by 500 to 192,600, state government employment increased by 300 to 159,400, and local government decreased by 3,400 to 393,200 over the month.  

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for eleven industry sectors. In April, nine experienced over-the-month job gains, and two experienced a decline. The largest job gain occurred in Education and Health Services (+2,500) to 602,100. The second largest job gain occurred in Professional and Business Services (+1,800) to 819,700. The third largest job gain occurred in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+1,700) to 678,900. The other gains were in Miscellaneous Services (+1,300) to 202,800; Manufacturing (+1,100) to 250,800; Financial Activities (+500) to 221,600; Information (+400) to 70,100; Construction (+200) to 222,200; and Mining and Logging (+100) to 7,300.

The largest job loss occurred in Government (-3,600) to 745,200. The second largest job loss occurred in Leisure and Hospitality (-2,600) to 412,700.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

March 2024 to
April 2024

April 2023 to
April 2024

April
2024

March
2024

April
2023

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

4,233,400

4,230,000

4,156,600

3,400

0.1%

76,800

1.8%

Total Private

3,488,200

3,481,200

3,426,100

7,000

0.2%

62,100

1.8%

Goods Producing

480,300

478,900

467,000

1,400

0.3%

13,300

2.8%

Mining and Logging

7,300

7,200

7,300

100

1.4%

0

0.0%

Construction

222,200

222,000

214,000

200

0.1%

8,200

3.8%

Manufacturing

250,800

249,700

245,700

1,100

0.4%

5,100

2.1%

Service-Providing

3,753,100

3,751,100

3,689,600

2,000

0.1%

63,500

1.7%

Private Service Providing

3,007,900

3,002,300

2,959,100

5,600

0.2%

48,800

1.6%

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

678,900

677,200

673,000

1,700

0.3%

5,900

0.9%

Information

70,100

69,700

71,000

400

0.6%

-900

-1.3%

Financial Activities

221,600

221,100

220,800

500

0.2%

800

0.4%

Professional and Business Services

819,700

817,900

811,000

1,800

0.2%

8,700

1.1%

Education and Health Services

602,100

599,600

576,600

2,500

0.4%

25,500

4.4%

Leisure and Hospitality

412,700

415,300

408,400

-2,600

-0.6%

4,300

1.1%

Miscellaneous Services

202,800

201,500

198,300

1,300

0.6%

4,500

2.3%

Government

745,200

748,800

730,500

-3,600

-0.5%

14,700

2.0%

Federal Government

192,600

193,100

188,600

-500

-0.3%

4,000

2.1%

State Government

159,400

159,100

153,100

300

0.2%

6,300

4.1%

Local Government

393,200

396,600

388,800

-3,400

-0.9%

4,400

1.1%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From April 2023 to April 2024, Virginia Works estimates that total nonfarm employment in Virginia increased by 76,800 to 4,233,400, private sector employment increased by 62,100 to 3,488,200, and government employment increased by 14,700 to 745,200 jobs. Within that sector, federal government jobs increased by 4,000 to 192,600, state government employment increased by 6,300 to 159,400, and local government increased by 4,400 to 393,200 over the year.

For the eleven industry sectors in Virginia over the year, nine experienced over-the-year job gains, one remained unchanged, and one experienced a decline. The largest job gain occurred in Education and Health Services (+25,500) to 602,100. The second largest job gain occurred in Government (+14,700) to 745,200. The third largest job gain occurred in Professional and Business Services (+8,700) to 819,700. The other gains were in Construction (+8,200) to 222,200; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+5,900) to 678,900; Manufacturing (+5,100) to 250,800; Miscellaneous Services (+4,500) to 202,800; Leisure and Hospitality (+4,300) to 412,700; and Financial Activities (+800) to 221,600.

The only job loss occurred in Information (-900) to 70,100. Mining and Logging remained unchanged.

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

March 2024 to
April 2024

April 2023 to
April 2024

April
2024

March
2024

April
2023

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

4,233,400

4,230,000

4,156,600

3,400

0.1%

76,800

1.8%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-
Radford MSA

86,300

86,000

82,300

300

0.3%

4,000

4.9%

Charlottesville MSA

126,800

126,900

122,700

-100

-0.1%

4,100

3.3%

Harrisonburg MSA

73,100

72,900

71,300

200

0.3%

1,800

2.5%

Lynchburg MSA

106,200

106,300

104,300

-100

-0.1%

1,900

1.8%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,591,600

1,587,900

1,572,400

3,700

0.2%

19,200

1.2%

Richmond MSA

723,700

723,000

711,400

700

0.1%

12,300

1.7%

Roanoke MSA

168,300

168,600

164,500

-300

-0.2%

3,800

2.3%

Staunton MSA

54,000

54,000

53,800

0

0.0%

200

0.4%

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-
Newport News MSA

820,200

822,000

804,600

-1,800

-0.2%

15,600

1.9%

Winchester MSA

72,800

72,700

71,400

100

0.1%

1,400

2.0%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In April, five experienced over-the-month job gains, one remained unchanged, and four experienced a decline. The largest job gain occurred in Northern Virginia (+3,700) to 1,591,600. The second largest job gain occurred in Richmond (+700) to 723,700. The third largest job gain occurred in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+300) to 86,300. The other gains were in Harrisonburg (+200) to 73,100; and Winchester (+100) to 72,800.

The largest job loss occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (-1,800) to 820,200. The second largest job loss occurred in Roanoke (-300) to 168,300. The third largest job loss occurred in Charlottesville (-100) to 126,800. The other loss was in Lynchburg (-100) to 106,200. Staunton remained unchanged.

Over the year, all metro areas experienced over-the-year job gains, and none experienced a decline. The largest job gain occurred in Northern Virginia (+19,200) to 1,591,600. The second largest job gain occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (+15,600) to 820,200. The third largest job gain occurred in Richmond (+12,300) to 723,700. The other gains were in Charlottesville (+4,100) to 126,800; Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+4,000) to 86,300; Roanoke (+3,800) to 168,300; Lynchburg (+1,900) to 106,200; Harrisonburg (+1,800) to 73,100; Winchester (+1,400) to 72,800; and Staunton (+200) to 54,000.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 2.3 percent in April. It has decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 2.3 percent compared to last year. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed decreased by 3,436 to 105,141, household employment increased by 22,581 to 4,459,446, and the labor force increased by 19,145 to 4,564,587. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 1.2 percentage points below the national unadjusted rate, which decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 3.5 percent.

Compared to last month, the April unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 159,400 manufacturing production workers increased by 0.2 to 39.8 hours. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production workers decreased by $0.32 to $25.41, and average weekly earnings decreased by $7.59 to $1,011.32.

###

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 March Employment Situation press release for details.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of April 7-13, 2024.

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 April Employment Situation press release for details.


Files detailing April's unemployment numbers are available below: