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News & Press: 2018 Economic Development News

Governor Northam Announces Commonwealth’s Unemployment Rate Continues at 3.7 %

Tuesday, January 23, 2018  
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Governor Northam Announces Commonwealth’s Unemployment Rate Continues at 3.7 %

 ~ Virginia’s unemployment rate ranks third-lowest among major U.S. states ~

RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in December at 3.7 percent, but was down 0.4 percentage point from a year ago. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was unchanged in December at 4.1 percent.

“Today’s unemployment announcement is good news for businesses and families across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “As my administration gets underway, we must continue to build and strengthen our workforce, attract new businesses to Virginia, and support those that already call the Commonwealth home. Working together, we can continue our progress growing and diversifying Virginia’s economy.”

Virginia has the third lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states, along with Arkansas and Florida. Virginia has the ninth best rate among the states east of the Mississippi, along with Florida.

“I am pleased to see the Commonwealth’s continued success in producing a record low unemployment rate,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Esther Lee. “Today’s announcement is a great start to the Northam Administration as we highlight Virginia’s pro-business climate and workforce capabilities. We must continue to strengthen this strong foundation for long-term economic growth by working together to attract new jobs and investment to Virginia.”

Virginia’s nonfarm payroll employment is 30,200 jobs higher when compared to December of 2016. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 45 consecutive months. In December, Virginia’s over-the-year growth was 0.8 percent. Nationally, total nonfarm employment was up 1.4 percent from a year ago.  

In December, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 32,200 jobs, while the public sector recorded an over-the-year loss of 2,000 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

For a greater statistical breakdown visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at www.vec.virginia.gov.  

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