For Release:
October 18, 2019
Contact:
Conrad Buckler
Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
LMI@virginiaworks.gov
(804) 786-8264 or (804) 786-7496

Virginia’s Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate Decreased in September to 2.7 Percent

~ Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was down 14,700 jobs between August 2019 and September 2019 ~

RICHMOND—Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased in September to 2.7 percent, which is 0.1 percentage point below the rate from a year ago. In September, the labor force expanded for the fifteenth consecutive month by 10,132, or 0.2 percent to set a new record high of 4,414,521, as the number of unemployed decreased by 3,555. Household employment increased by 13,687 to set a new high of 4,295,502. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which decreased to 3.5 percent. 

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 14,700 jobs in September to 4,025,800. August’s total nonfarm employment was revised downward 1,400. In September, private sector employment decreased by 14,100 jobs to 3,301,700, while public sector payrolls decreased by 600 jobs to 724,100.

From August 2019 to September 2019, seasonally adjusted employment increased in three major industry divisions, held steady in mining, and decreased in the other seven. The largest job gain during September occurred in private education and health services with a gain of 1,900 jobs to 556,000. The second largest over-the-month gain occurred in trade and transportation with a gain of 200 jobs to 652,000. The final employment gain was information with a gain of 100 jobs to 63,500.  The largest loss during September occurred in professional and business services with a loss of 5,300 jobs to 754,400.  The second largest loss was leisure and hospitality with a loss of 5,100 jobs to 412,500. Other employment losses were: construction (-3,200 jobs) to 199,100; miscellaneous services, (-1,500 jobs) to 201,500; manufacturing (-800 jobs) to 245,900; total government (-600 jobs) to 724,100 and finance (-400 jobs) to 208,500. For total government, a gain occurred in local government, increasing 300 jobs, no change in state government, and a decrease in federal government of 900 jobs.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*

Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

August 2019 to            September 2019

September 2018 to           September 2019

September 2019

August  2019

September 2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

4,025,800

4,040,500

3,999,900

-14,700

-0.4%

25,900

0.6%

Total Private Sector

3,301,700

3,315,800

3,276,100

-14,100

-0.4%

25,600

0.8%

Goods-Producing

453,300

457,300

446,000

-4,000

-0.9%

7,300

1.6%

  Mining

8,300

8,300

7,900

0

0.0%

400

5.1%

  Construction

199,100

202,300

197,000

-3,200

-1.6%

2,100

1.1%

  Manufacturing

245,900

246,700

241,100

-800

-0.3%

4,800

2.0%

Service-Providing

3,572,500

3,583,200

3,553,900

-10,700

-0.3%

18,600

0.5%

  Private Service-Providing

2,848,400

2,858,500

2,830,100

-10,100

-0.4%

18,300

0.6%

  Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

652,000

651,800

658,300

200

0.0%

-6,300

-1.0%

  Information

63,500

63,400

66,500

100

0.2%

-3,000

-4.5%

  Finance

208,500

208,900

208,200

-400

-0.2%

300

0.1%

  Professional and Business Services

754,400

759,700

749,600

-5,300

-0.7%

4,800

0.6%

  Education and Health Services

556,000

554,100

542,900

1,900

0.3%

13,100

2.4%

  Leisure and Hospitality Services

412,500

417,600

403,800

-5,100

-1.2%

8,700

2.2%

  Miscellaneous Services

201,500

203,000

200,800

-1,500

-0.7%

700

0.3%

  Government

724,100

724,700

723,800

-600

-0.1%

300

0.0%

  Federal Government

179,600

180,500

179,500

-900

-0.5%

100

0.1%

  State Government

161,600

161,600

161,000

0

0.0%

600

0.4%

  Local Government

382,900

382,600

383,300

300

0.1%

-400

-0.1%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

 

From September 2018 to September 2019, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 25,900 jobs, or 0.6 percent. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 66 consecutive months and has continued to strengthen over the last several months. In September, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 25,600 jobs, while employment in the public sector increased by 300 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 private education and health services, up 13,100 jobs (+2.4 percent). The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 8,700 jobs (+2.2 percent). Professional and business services was tied for the third largest over-the-year job gain of 4,800 jobs (+0.6 percent) with manufacturing, up 4,800 jobs (+2.0 percent) . Other gains were in: construction, up 2,100 jobs (+1.1 percent); miscellaneous services, up 700 jobs (+0.3 percent); mining up 400 jobs (+5.1 percent); and finance, up 300 jobs (+0.1 percent) tied with total government (0.0 percent), with gains in state government employment (600 jobs); federal (100 jobs); along with a loss in local (-400 jobs). The largest job loss was in trade and transportation, down 6,300 jobs (-1.0 percent). The other loss was in information, down 3,000 jobs (-4.5 percent).

 

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*

Seasonally Adjusted

Area

Employment

August 2019 to            September 2019

September 2018 to           September 2019

September 2019

August  2019

September 2018

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

4,025,800

4,040,500

3,999,900

-14,700

-0.4%

25,900

0.6%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA

77,400

78,300

77,500

-900

-1.1%

-100

-0.1%

Charlottesville MSA

120,600

120,600

118,600

0

0.0%

2,000

1.7%

Harrisonburg MSA

69,600

69,400

68,100

200

0.3%

1,500

2.2%

Lynchburg MSA

105,900

106,000

105,500

-100

-0.1%

400

0.4%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,506,000

1,503,600

1,491,500

2,400

0.2%

14,500

1.0%

Richmond MSA

682,300

684,600

677,000

-2,300

-0.3%

5,300

0.8%

Roanoke MSA

163,700

164,800

161,900

-1,100

-0.7%

1,800

1.1%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

51,700

51,600

50,800

100

0.2%

900

1.8%

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

792,400

793,900

787,500

-1,500

-0.2%

4,900

0.6%

Winchester, Virginia/West Virginia MSA

66,000

66,000

64,100

0

0.0%

1,900

3.0%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.


Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In September, three metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains, Charlottesville and Winchester had no change, while five experienced losses. The largest absolute job gain occurred in Northern Virginia (+2,400 jobs). The second largest absolute job gain occurred in Harrisonburg (+200 jobs). The other gain was Staunton-Waynesboro (+100 jobs).  The job losses were: Richmond (-2,300 jobs); Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, (-1,500 jobs); Roanoke (-1,100 jobs); Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (-900 jobs); and Lynchburg (-100 jobs).

Over the year, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased in nine of the ten metropolitan areas. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area experienced the largest absolute job gain, up 14,500 jobs (+1.0 percent). Richmond was second largest with a gain of 5,300 jobs (+0.8 percent). Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News was third largest with gains of 4,900 jobs, (+0.6 percent). The other over-the-year job gains occurred in: Charlottesville (+2,000 jobs); Winchester (+1,900 jobs); Roanoke (+1,800 jobs); Harrisonburg (+1,500 jobs); Staunton-Waynesboro (+900 jobs); and Lynchburg (+400 jobs). The only loss was in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (-100 jobs).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points in September to 2.5 percent, and was down 0.2 percentage point from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed decreased by 9,849, household employment increased by 110,898, and the labor force increased by 101,049. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national unadjusted rate, which was down 0.5 percentage point in September to 3.3 percent.

Compared to last month, the September unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 168,100 manufacturing production workers decreased by 0.6 hour to 39.7 hours and average hourly earnings increased to $19.79. Average weekly earnings decreased $2.21 to $785.66. Compared to last September, the unadjusted workweek decreased by 1.1 hour, average hourly earnings increased by $0.29, and average weekly earnings were lower by $9.94.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of September 8-14, 2019.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the September local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, October 30, 2019.  The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiaWorks.com

The October statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.


Files detailing September's unemployment numbers are available below: