October 18, 2019
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(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.
*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).
*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: