For Release:
July 17, 2020
Contact:
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 486-2624

The Virginia unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent in June while total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 63,500

~ The recent changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. ~

RICHMOND— Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.6 of a percentage point in June to 8.4 percent, which is 5.6 percentage points above the rate from a year ago. According to household survey data in June, the labor force grew by 15,934, or 0.4 percent, to 4,322,244, as the number of unemployed residents declined by 25,237. The number of employed residents increased by 41,171 to 3,957,935. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which fell to 11.1 percent.

Virginia nonagricultural wage and salary employment, from the monthly establishment survey, rose by 63,500 jobs in June to 3,750,500. May’s preliminary estimates were revised upward by 5,400, adding to that month’s job gains. In June, private sector employment increased by 67,700 jobs to 3,070,100, while public sector payrolls decreased by 4,200 jobs to 680,400.

Employment rose in seven of eleven major industry sectors, with declines in four. The largest job gain during June occurred in leisure and hospitality with a gain of 29,500 jobs to 291,900. Nationwide, much of the increase within the leisure and hospitality sector occurred in food services and drinking places, but employment also rose in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry and in the accommodation industry. Other employment gains included trade and transportation (+19,500 jobs) to 628,100, education and health services (+9,600 jobs) to 510,300, construction (+4,400 jobs) to 205,700, miscellaneous services (+4,300 jobs) to 181,900, manufacturing (+2,400 jobs) to 231,100, and professional and business services (+2,100 jobs) to 738,400. Government employment dropped by 4,200 jobs in June. Employment in local government was down by 3,400 jobs, and declined in federal government (-600 jobs) while state government slipped by 200 jobs.

Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*
Seasonally Adjusted

Industry

Employment

May 2020 to
June 2020

June 2019 to
June 2020

June
2020

May
2020

June
2019

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Total Nonfarm

3,750,500

3,687,000

4,056,900

63,500

1.7%

-306,400

-7.6%

Total Private Sector

3,070,100

3,002,400

3,327,400

67,700

2.3%

-257,300

-7.7%

Goods-Producing

444,000

437,500

455,100

6,500

1.5%

-11,100

-2.4%

   Mining

7,200

7,500

8,100

-300

-4.0%

-900

-11.1%

   Construction

205,700

201,300

203,100

4,400

2.2%

2,600

1.3%

   Manufacturing

231,100

228,700

243,900

2,400

1.0%

-12,800

-5.2%

Service-Providing

3,306,500

3,249,500

3,601,800

57,000

1.8%

-295,300

-8.2%

  Private Service-Providing

2,626,100

2,564,900

2,872,300

61,200

2.4%

-246,200

-8.6%

   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

628,100

608,600

659,100

19,500

3.2%

-31,000

-4.7%

   Information

66,300

66,800

68,200

-500

-0.7%

-1,900

-2.8%

   Finance

209,200

212,500

212,100

-3,300

-1.6%

-2,900

-1.4%

   Professional and Business Services

738,400

736,300

767,400

2,100

0.3%

-29,000

-3.8%

   Education and Health Services

510,300

500,700

554,200

9,600

1.9%

-43,900

-7.9%

   Leisure and Hospitality Services

291,900

262,400

409,200

29,500

11.2%

-117,300

-28.7%

   Miscellaneous Services

181,900

177,600

202,100

4,300

2.4%

-20,200

-10.0%

  Government

680,400

684,600

729,500

-4,200

-0.6%

-49,100

-6.7%

   Federal Government

182,000

182,600

181,500

-600

-0.3%

500

0.3%

   State Government

146,000

146,200

160,400

-200

-0.1%

-14,400

-9.0%

   Local Government

352,400

355,800

387,600

-3,400

-1.0%

-35,200

-9.1%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

From June 2019 to June 2020, the VEC estimates that establishments in Virginia lost 306,400 jobs, or 7.6%. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia had been positive for 72 consecutive months leading up to April’s sharp decline. In June, the private sector recorded an over-the-year loss of 257,300 jobs, while employment in the public sector lost 49,100 jobs.

Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, ten out of eleven major industry divisions experienced employment declines, with some experiencing more severe losses than others. The largest over-the-year job loss occurred in leisure and hospitality, down 117,300 jobs (-28.7%). The next largest over-the-year job loss occurred in government, down 49,100 jobs (-6.7%). Within government, there were decreases in local government employment (-35,200 jobs) and state government employment      (-14,400 jobs). Federal government experienced a small increase in employment (+500 jobs). Education and health services experienced the third largest over-the-year job loss of 43,900 jobs (-7.9%). Trade and transportation lost 31,000 jobs (-4.7%) while professional and business services shed 29,000 jobs (-3.8%). Other losses were in miscellaneous services, down 20,200 jobs (-10.0%); manufacturing, down 12,800 jobs (-5.2%); finance, down 2,900 jobs (-1.4%); information, down 1,900 jobs (-2.8%); and mining down 900 jobs (-11.1%). The sole increase occurred in construction, up 2,600 jobs (+1.3%).

Total Nonfarm Employment in Virginia*

Area

Employment

May 2020 to
June 2020

June 2019 to
June 2020

June
2020

May
2020

June
2019

Change

% Change

Change

% Change

Virginia

3,750,500

3,687,000

4,056,900

63,500

1.7%

-306,400

-7.6%

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-
Radford MSA

70,000

66,100

78,200

3,900

5.9%

-8,200

-10.5%

Charlottesville MSA

112,000

111,900

121,000

100

0.1%

-9,000

-7.4%

Harrisonburg MSA

63,800

62,400

69,400

1,400

2.2%

-5,600

-8.1%

Lynchburg MSA

98,700

95,000

105,600

3,700

3.9%

-6,900

-6.5%

Northern Virginia MSA

1,401,200

1,379,300

1,516,900

21,900

1.6%

-115,700

-7.6%

Richmond MSA

631,200

622,700

687,400

8,500

1.4%

-56,200

-8.2%

Roanoke MSA

148,100

146,600

162,400

1,500

1.0%

-14,300

-8.8%

Staunton-Waynesboro MSA

51,200

50,200

51,700

1,000

2.0%

-500

-1.0%

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

734,200

724,300

796,000

9,900

1.4%

-61,800

-7.8%

Winchester,
Virginia/West Virginia MSA

59,300

59,300

65,500

0

0.0%

-6,200

-9.5%

*Current month's estimates are preliminary.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for ten metropolitan areas. In June, nine metropolitan areas experienced over-the-month job gains. The largest absolute job increase occurred in Northern Virginia (+21,900 jobs). The second largest absolute job gain occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (+9,900 jobs). The third largest absolute job gain was in Richmond (+8,500 jobs). Other increases include Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+3,900 jobs), Lynchburg (+3,700 jobs), Roanoke (+1,500 jobs), Harrisonburg (+1,400 jobs), Staunton-Waynesboro (+1,000 jobs), and Charlottesville (+100 jobs). Winchester was unchanged over the month.

Over the year, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment decreased in all of the ten metropolitan areas. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area experienced the largest absolute job loss, down 115,700 jobs (-7.6%). Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News ranked second, with a loss of 61,800 jobs (-7.8%). Richmond ranked third with a decline of 56,200 jobs (-8.2%).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Virginia’s unadjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.4 percentage points in June to 8.5 percent, and was up 5.6 percentage points from a year ago. Compared to a year ago, the number of unemployed increased by 241,855, household employment decreased by 320,165, and the labor force decreased by 78,310. Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national unadjusted rate, which fell by 1.8 percentage points in June to 11.2 percent.

Compared to last month, the June unadjusted workweek for Virginia’s 155,800 manufacturing production workers increased by 1.9 hours to 40.1 hours. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production workers decreased by $.50 to $19.84 in June. Average weekly earnings rose $18.59 to $795.58. The increase in average weekly earnings could reflect the substantial job loss among lower-paid workers and put upward pressure on the average weekly earnings estimates.

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 June, refer to the BLS June 2020 Employment Situation press release for details.

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of June 7-13, 2020.

The Virginia Employment Commission plans to release the June local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.  The data will be available on our website, www.VirginiaWorks.com.

The July statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Friday, August 21, 2020.

Files detailing June's unemployment numbers are available below: