Governor Glenn Youngkin Announces Continued Labor Market Strength and Moderate Job Growth in November

December 22, 2023

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Local Area Unemployment Statistics (“LAUS”, or “the household survey”), the labor force in Virginia continued growing in November by 9,331 to 4,624,846, the number of employed Virginians increased by 47 to 4,492,761 while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.2% to 2.9%. 

“While more Virginians are working than ever before and participation in the labor force continues to climb, this month’s flat jobs report suggests the cautious approach we’ve taken in our economic outlook remains appropriate,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Since day one our economic agenda has resulted in aggressive growth in labor participation and job creation, and we must take bolder steps, as my budget laid out this week, to unleash opportunity for all Virginians.” 

The labor force participation rate, which measures the proportion of the civilian population age 16 and older that is employed or actively looking for work, increased to 66.9 percent in November, which is the highest labor force participation rate experienced in Virginia since March 2012. 

According to BLS LAUS, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in November increased by 0.2 percentage points to 2.9 percent, which is 0.3 percentage points below the rate from a year ago. The labor force increased by 9,331 to 4,624,846; and the number of employed Virginians increased by 47 to 4,492,761 as the number of unemployed residents increased by 9,284 to 132,085.  

“Over the last year, all regions of the Commonwealth have seen employment growth,” said Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater. “However, with 254,000 job openings in the Commonwealth, our commitment remains with providing the tools Virginians need to improve their job situation and our employers with employees to fill these jobs.” 

“Through our innovative framework, we are driving Virginia’s economy for the jobs of today leading to the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Caren Merrick. “We are encouraged by the number of Virginians continuing to seek job opportunities and to be an active participant in strengthening the vitality of the Commonwealth.” 

BLS publishes an additional employment figure from its Current Employment Statistics Survey (“CES” or “establishment survey”). The CES survey uses payroll records of establishment employers and is designed to provide a count of jobs under which the employer pays unemployment insurance. The LAUS survey is based on household interviews conducted each month for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and provides comprehensive data on the labor force, including those who are employed and unemployed. Establishment survey data reflects changes for updated seasonal adjustment factors, and industry classification conversions (NAICS), as part of the annual benchmarking process. 

The household survey only distinguishes between whether a person is employed or unemployed, whereas CES counts each employee that is on an employer’s payroll. CES excludes business owners, self-employed persons, unpaid volunteers and private household workers, and those on unpaid leave or not working because of a labor dispute. 

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for eleven industry sectors. In November, eight experienced over-the-month job gains, one remained unchanged, and two experienced a decline. The largest job gain occurred in Government (+2,000) to 743,000. The second largest job gain occurred in Leisure and Hospitality (+1,300) to 409,700. The third largest job gain occurred in Education and Health Services (+1,100) to 584,900. The other gains were in Construction (+900) to 214,000; Information (+600) to 71,100; Financial Activities (+400) to 217,500; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+400) to 671,100; and Manufacturing (+100) to 246,800. Miscellaneous Services remained unchanged.  

For more details, visit the Virginia Works website at

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View the Governor's Press Release