For Release:
February 6, 2024
Timothy Aylor
Senior Economist
Economic Information & Analytics Division
(804) 786-3976

Virginia’s December County and Area Employment Figures Released

~ Over-the-Year Unemployment Rate Increases in Most of Virginia’s Counties1 and Metropolitan Statistical Areas ~

RICHMOND— Virginia Works (the Department of Workforce Development and Advancement) announced today that, compared to a year earlier, December 2023 unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 67 of Virginia’s 133 counties and cities, remained unchanged in 29, and decreased in 37. In December, Petersburg City had the highest unemployment rate at 5.7 percent, while Arlington and Madison counties had the lowest rate at 2.0 percent. The employment estimates in this release are subject to large seasonal patterns; therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates.

Among the metro areas, Charlottesville, Northern Virginia2, Staunton, and Winchester had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.4 percent, while Lynchburg had the highest at 3.2 percent. The not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 2.7 percent, a 0.1 percentage point increase from a year earlier and 0.8 of a point lower than the national rate. The December 2023 local unemployment rates are online: You can also access the local unemployment rates by clicking the Area Rates link under the unemployment graph located on

The statistical reference week for the household survey this month was the week of December 10-16, 2023.

The January 2024 statewide unemployment rate and employment data for both the state and metropolitan areas are scheduled to be released on Monday, March 11, 2024. The data will be available on our website The Virginia Department of Workforce Development and Advancement plans to release the January local area unemployment rates on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

1 The Commonwealth of Virginia is divided into 95 counties, along with 38 independent cities that are considered county-equivalents for census purposes.

2Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division, VA part.